Review – Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts

Posted April 20, 2015 by in Reviews / 11 Comments

Cover of Hybrids of Plants and Of Ghosts by Jorie GrahamHybrids of Plants and of Ghosts, Jorie Graham

A somewhat random choice from Blloon’s catalogue. Some of this poetry is lovely — some just didn’t make an impression on me, but there are some gorgeous images, ways of tilting the world askew and looking at it anew, haunting ones…

I think unfortunately my overall reaction is of ambivalence, but things stick in my head — “The starlings keep trying / to thread the eyes / of steeples.” And looking at other reviews, it sounds like this was a first collection, and that perhaps I should’ve come across Jorie Graham before. I might look for more of her work, mostly for the language rather than the content.

Rating: 3/5

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11 responses to “Review – Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts

  1. Poetry can be so tough. I empathize. I’ve mostly given up on reading it because the reaction you had to this collection is basically my reaction to most collections (unless it’s utter dislike). I just can’t seem to find anything that really impacts me anymore.

    • I tend to prefer anthologies because they’re more varied. A whole work by a single poet usually makes me wonder if they know how to write anything other than the same poem over and over… Carol Ann Duffy is an exception for me; not with all her poetry, but at least some, ever since I read ‘Anne Hathaway’ and learnt it in one go. (‘Some nights I dreamed he’d written me, the bed / a page beneath his writer’s hands’…)

      • Somehow, I hadn’t thought of poking at anthologies instead, despite having had good luck with them in the past. This is a fabulous idea.

          • I will add it to my to-read list! (Which is getting more manageable now that I have a Habit Daily to source where I can get five of my to-read book from my various library systems.)

            • I don’t even keep books I don’t have my hands on yet on my lists. It’d be chaos. I need to work out again how many bought books I have left unread; last time it was near 1,000. Arrghh.

              • To be honest, I’ve found the best part of having almost no disposable income is that I can’t afford to purchase books. I try to have as few possessions as possible, and for the longest time, I had next to no possessions… but hundreds of books. Now I try to only own physical copies of books that are Important because I move too often and there’s just not enough room anywhere for books. :/

                Sometimes it makes me sad. And other times, it makes me feel liberated.

                (Not to say I don’t have a bunch of unread eBooks….)

                • I’m trying to reduce it, because it got rather in control of me, as I think is apparent from the growing number of books on each list. It was a self-soothing thing that got wayyy out of hand. I’m doing better now, thankfully.

                    • My dad borrows a van and spends at least a day shuttling stuff and then getting more bookshelves and building them. I only really moved while I was at uni, though; parents’ve lived in the same place since I was four, and I’ve lived with my grandmother two and a half years now…

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