Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spending Time on The Playground

I have spent the last month and a half working part time in a preschool. If I stood on my preschool's playground and watched the children play it would be like reading The Playground by Don Martin.

In this preschool there is the child with a neglected life. She is emotional and needy. She comes to me with the smallest of issues and has a full blown meltdown over it, because she's so desperate for attention and she can't figure out a better way to get it. 

Then there is the child who is already so crestfallen by life that everything is a disappointment too hopeless to spend any energy on.

There is the child who is nothing but joy and comedy, smiling and bouncing through life.

There is the baby who is still growing, who hasn't yet found their place and is still too unaware to do anything but incidentally cause pain.

There are some children on my playground who are true brilliance. They will be running the world one day. Or they'll be so brilliant no one else will understand them and they'll fall through the cracks.

This is how this book of poetry reads. Some of the poems are pure brilliance, they make you feel like you're in the presence of something amazing. Some are dancing around you, silly and playful. Some are breaking your heart. Some just accidentally stuck their finger in your eye, but hopefully you learned a lesson as they did.

This is an eclectic selection of poems with some incredible variety. There is something here for you. I promise.

Martin's poems are not poems you're forced to dissect. They aren't poems you have to, in the words of Billy Collins, "tie to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of." If you want to investigate a little deeper a few have some interesting depth, and perhaps the author could have taken those few a little further. A handful of poems I felt like I was given an amuse-bouche when I ordered a steak dinner. But that amuse-bouche was still pretty yummy.

If you like these books I suggest you read The Playground:

The Trouble With Poetry
A Light in the Attic

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