It's National Poetry Month, so it's only fitting that the books I read this past week are written in verse!
I finished Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust, a Newbery winning fictional memoir of a young girl named Billie Jo living in the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma in 1934-35. Dust permeates every part of her life. She describes how the dirt clouds move and settle in her home and school, and even her body, as it covers her skin and works its way into her mouth, nose, and eyes--the grittiness of the dust is ever present. Hesse does not sugarcoat the difficulties of the farmers or the tragedies that occurred during this period, but because of Billie Jo's determination, we are pulled through the tough times with her family.
My before-bed reading has been Judith Viorst's Forever Fifty and other negotiations, a collection of poems celebrating the ups and downs of turning fifty. I am a fan of Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, so I bought her poetry book as a gift to myself for my fiftieth. The poems are quirky and wise, with some lamenting over changes in body and relationships and some happiness with settling into your skin and knowing one's mind and purpose. I find myself reading and rereading each poem, just one or two at a time to think about before tucking in for the night.
It's Monday; what's on the nightstand next to your bed?