Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation – Book Review

Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation

by: Brett Fletcher Lauer (Author)Lynn Melnick (Author)Carolyn Forché (Introduction)

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I picked this up from my local library a while back after there was some controversy with a few parents over the book being considered YA due to the content. They felt that it was inappropriate and came in complaining about the book after their kids brought it home. At the age of 11, my oldest daughter is starting to read some YA and I thought I’d like to check this one out to see what the fuss was all about and if it’s something she could read. Plus, I love poetry.

The book is a compilation of about one hundred poems from different authors on various topics including racism, drug use, sexual orientation, sexual abuse, common problems that teens experience with friends and family, and others. It does contain some profanity. It’s a good mix of poems and I loved some and didn’t like others. A few of my favorites are:

“Richer Than Anyone in Heaven,”

“Boyishly”

“High-School Picture Re-Take Day”

“That’s Everything Inevitable”

“Sonnet”

“Second Summer”

“The Wait for Cake”

My absolute favorite was:
“Concerning the Land to the South of Our Neighbors to the North.”

I enjoyed the book, but I’m not sure about this being used in classrooms and feel that it might be best for upper high school due to some of the content. YA can mean different ages from twelve all the way up to twenty-five and I noticed that School Library Journal lists this as tenth grade and up, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for all tenth graders. Some of these poems are intense and a few can be offensive. It’s books like these that make me wish (even more) that there was a rating system in place for books just like movies, then parents and teachers could decide right away whether a book is or isn’t appropriate for their readers. I’m no expert, but in my opinion, even as an adult you really have to go into this book with an open mind.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the afterward which contains information about the poets and some short Q&A’s for each. What I didn’t like was that the questions asked were about favorite foods. artists, and mottos. I would’ve liked to learn why they wrote the poem that was featured in the book and what inspired them to write these poems in the first place.

My rating on this is 3.5***

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  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670014796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670014798

Blurb: One hundred poems. One hundred voices. One hundred different points of view.

Here is a cross-section of American poetry as it is right now—full of grit and love, sparkling with humor, searing the heart, smashing through boundaries on every page. Please Excuse This Poem features one hundred acclaimed younger poets from truly diverse backgrounds and points of view, whose work has appeared everywhere from The New Yorker to Twitter, tackling a startling range of subjects in a startling range of poetic forms. Dealing with the aftermath of war; unpacking the meaning of “the rape joke”; sharing the tender moments at the start of a love affair: these poems tell the world as they see it.

Editors Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick have crafted a book that is a must-read for those wanting to know the future of poetry. With an introduction from award-winning poet, editor, and translator Carolyn Forché, Please Excuse This Poem has the power to change the way you look at the world. It is The Best American Nonrequired Reading—in poetry form.

Find it on Amazon and Goodreads


 

Here you can see the authors introduce the book and also hear some of the poems.

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About the Authors:

Brett Fletcher Lauer

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Brett Fletcher Lauer is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of A Public Space, and the author of memoir Fake Missed Connections: Divorce, Online Dating, and Other Failures, and the poetry collection A Hotel In Belgium. In addition to co-editing several anthologies, including Please Excuse this Poem: 100 News Poets for the Next Generation and Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets, he is the poetry co-chair for the Brooklyn Book Festival. – Goodreads

Find Brett Fletcher Lauer on:

Goodreads | Website | Amazon


Lynn Melnick

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Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Landscape with Sex and Violence (forthcoming, 2017) and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), both with YesYes Books, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). Her poetry has appeared in APR, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere, and she has written essays and book reviews for Boston Review, LA Review of Books, and Poetry Daily, among others. A 2017-2018 fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, she also teaches poetry at the 92Y and serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Born in Indianapolis, she grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Brooklyn. – Goodreads

Find Lynn Melnick on:

Goodreads | Website | Amazon

 

Continue reading “Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation – Book Review”

Music Monday: Frankie Smith “Double Dutch Bus”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday! I’d like to thank Drew for creating this meme because it’s unique and I love it.

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This week’s song pick is…

Double Dutch Bus

By Frankie Smith

When this song comes on,  I have to move. I love it.

When I was younger and had a nightlife, I would go out with my friends on the weekends. This song would come on and we would get together in a group and do the “Double Dutch Bus.” I’m not spectacular at dancing, but this one is fairly easy, and in my opinion, looks so impressive with a bunch of people.

Here’s a lovely group of people doing the “Double Dutch Bus” Dance below…

The lady in grey on the left really has it down!

Good times…


This song comes from the album “Children of Tomorrow”

1981

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Lyrics:

Gimme a “ho” if you got your funky bus fare

Ho! ho! ho!

There’s a double dutch bus coming down the street
Moving pretty fast
So kinda shuffle your feet
Get on the bus and pay your fare
And tell the driver that you’re
Going to a Double Dutch Affair
Fe fi fo fum
Well I’ll be darn here it comes
The Double Dutch Bus is on the street
You’d better get off the curb
Move your feet

Bus fare trans-pass
That’s the way my money lasts
Ain’t got no car to get around
When I go to work I’ve gotta go downtown
Now I’ve missed my train
That’s a darn shame
When I’m running late no sleep’s to blame
If you’ve gotta wife you know I’m right
Gotta special man well I can understand
Uptown, downtown everybody’s getting down
Say uptown, say downtown

Well I missed my bus I know I’m late
I gotta do something I know I hate
I’m gonna walk to work fifteen blocks
I already got a hole in my socks
Go ahead and laugh that’s okay
‘Cause what I really wanna say
I got bad feet my corns hurt
To top it off I’m late for work
Let me tell you what I say
When I’m dealin’ wit a funky sidewalk
Let me show you how I walk
When I gotta do my funky walk
Let me tell you what I say
When I’m dealing wit a funky sidewalk

I say shhhhhhhhhhh-sugarrrrr

Hizzey, gizzirls! y’izzall hizzave t’ mizzove izzout the wizzay sizzo the gizzuys can plizzay bizzasketbizzal

Izzsay whizzat? nizzo yizzou izzain’t

Y’izzall bizzetter mizzove!

Izzsay whizzat? willze illzain’t millzovin’

Shillzu-gillza! milzza nilzza bilzzaby!

Willze illzare plizzayin’ dizzouble dizzutch! dizzouble dizzutch! dizzouble dizzutch!

Willze illzare plizzayin’ dizzouble dizzutch! dizzouble dizzutch! dizzouble dizzutch!

Millze gillzot sillzomebillzody plillzays dillzouble dillzzutch

Whozzo?

My gizzirl!

Brillzing her izzin!

Izzo kizzay!

Izzall rizzight

Izzo kizzay!

Izzall rizzight! nizzow wilzee wilzill zillzee

Bip, bomp, bam alakazam
But only if you’re grooving
With the Double Dutch Man
Put on your skates don’t forget your rope
‘Cause I know I’m gonna see you
At my Double Dutch Show
Rebecca, Lolita, Veshawn and Dawn
Every time you do the Double Dutch you really turn it on
Bilzarbra, Milzary, Bilzetty, Kilzam
Tilzommy, Tilzerrance, Bilzobby that’s my man
Come on get on my Double Dutch Bus
(The Double Dutch Bus)

Let me hear you say do that
(Do that)
Let me hear you say do that again
(Do that again)
Let me hear you say do the
Do the do
Let me hear you say do the do the do
Do the do the do
Do the do the do do do do do do
Do the do the do do do do do do

Continue reading “Music Monday: Frankie Smith “Double Dutch Bus””