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As you may suspect, I am not a good reader of poetry. Despite the efforts of our book club’s organizer in getting us poetry books from time to time, I just don’t like it, but this hasn’t made me give up (yet), because I *know* there must be something out there for me. My relationship with poetry is kind of a challenge, and I think perseverance will be the key.

Anyway, some days ago I had the irrepressible need for browsing in the poetry section of the library (this is a reconstruction, as Offred from The handmaid’s tale would say), and I borrowed this book: the complete poetry work of John Berger, an author I knew from an epistolary novel I have read recently (From A to X).

So the experience has been… uneven. But this is due to the different themes presented on the book: rural life, death, war, emigration and, of course, love. Taking into account that my aim in life is to seek romance, I think I might have enjoyed some of the love ones.

Shirt on the chair

My heart born naked
was swaddled in lullabies.
Later alone it wore
poems for clothes.
Like a shirt
I carried on my back
the poetry I had read.

So I lived for half a century
until wordlessly we met.

From my shirt on the back of the chair
I learn tonight
how many years
of learning by heart
I waited for you.

This bilingual edition also contains a CD with the author reading some of his poems, and it has been nice to listen to them since they sound so much better than the “in-my-head-English”, as I call it.

So it has been a good experience after all; poetry requieres extra effort because it’s not easy to fully concentrate in every line, but want to keep trying. One book at a time.

PS: I’m not rating this book because I still don’t know how to rate poetry.

PS2: For those interested in poetry books, I recommend Lianne’s series of post titled “So you want to read poetry”, with recommendations on this genre.

PS3: This book made me add a touch of poetry in my postcards, too 🙂

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