What it is: A collection of poems by many different people (some you may recognize as a famous writer or philosopher) that illustrate the difference (and occasional similarities) between truth and untruth. Editor Patrice Vecchione writes in her introduction, “Poetry is a particular way of telling the truth…Often a poem will say what you know is true but had never heard put into words before.” It’s pretty deep and kind of interesting to read these poems and try and figure out why the editor chose them for this book, and how they all go together. Vecchione was also nice enough to include brief bios about the poets in the back of the book, so if you liked the voice of any particular person, you can dig in and find out where to find more of their works.
What it ain’t: No poetry in here by teens, folks. Just poems by professional and classical writers that adults thought you would like, and that may start your own writing wheels spinning.
Who will like it: Razor-red lipstick wearing Goth girls who sneak copies of Emily Dickinson into their black-light lit bedrooms, and boys who play in serious bands (and I don’t mean Making the Band, gelled-hair poptarts!) who are looking for inspiration for their deep-down, soul searching lyrics.
A Sample: An excerpt from Julia Alvarez’s “from 33”: Sometimes the words are so close I am/more who I am when I’m down on paper/than anywhere else as if my life were/practising for the real me I become/unbuttoned from the anecdotal and /unnecessary and undressed down/to the figure of the poem, line by line,/the real text a child could understand/