April is National Poetry Month. All across this great land, people are celebrating in schools, libraries, galleries, parks, etc. For that reason and also because discovering new poets is just fun, I will be showcasing some new poetry titles this month.
In We Almost Disappear, David Bottoms writes about the South, childhood, camping and fishing, and aging. Nature features predominately in these poems. There are also many poems about his childhood, including some lovely ones about his grandparents, his sense of personal history handed down through generations. I found the poems to be calming, beautiful, and full of a deep humanity. Emotive and rich, they share
descriptions about the important things in life. Check out these lines from one of my favorite poems included, "Campfire in Light Rain."
"You tell me what the end looks like to you, / and I'll tell you about a river / under a night sky, / about the stars guttering out, one by one, / while a thicket of scrub pine darkens into a wall."
He also writes about caring for his aged parents. In "A Heron on the Oconee" he describes one day near the end of his dad's life. Here's how this fine poem ends: "the way he leaned from his armchair / toward a window, elbow quivering on his walker, / and gazed through oak branches into a broken sky, / is the way this heron, ruffled, muddy, / stares downriver at the water rippling into the trees."
Similar to the work of Jane Hirshfield's Come, Thief, Robert Hass's Field Guide and James Wright's Collected Poems, this collection savors nature and life. Reading it is a perfect way to celebrate spring.