Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 112
Reason for Reading : Irresitible Review Challenge, recommended by the Adult Fairy Tale series

The winner of the Pulizter Prize for poetry, this short collection contains 17 poems based on tales from The Brothers Grimm collection. It includes classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Rumplestiltskin, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty). Each poem is prefaced with a short, almost seperatepoem, that looks at the tale in a more modern setting. The main body of the poem is her actual re-telling of the tale.

Dark overtones to most of the poems, they are dry and witty with insightful comments from Sexton along the way. They are a very intimate look inside the mind of the author with much of her personal thoughts exposed on various subjects along the way. I don't read much poetry generally but this made me want to pick up more and in paritcular some Slyvia Plath who has a similar background and personal history.

My favourite was Little Red Riding Hood which has a section on moder decievers that made me think. It's quite sad reading the poems however knowing that she killed herself 3 years after this collection was first published. There are lots of references to therapy, depression, ECT (electro convulsive therapy) and medication which strike the reader all the more for knowing what happens next. Overall a beautiful, dark collection of fairy tale inspired poems all lovers of poetry and fairy tales will enjoy.

Other Reviews:
Things Mean a Lot - The recommendation that gave me that final push to read it!
Booknotes by Lisa
The Endless Pursuit of Life
My Other Car is a Tardis

11 comments:

Andi said...

Glad you enjoyed this one. It's one of my favorite books, and definitely one of my favorite poetry collections. We read it in April for the Year of Reading Dangerously, and it got a mixed bag of reviews, but given my fascination with fairy tales and retellings, it was irresistable for me.

Nymeth said...

I'm glad you enjoy it so much! And yeah, knowing what happened to her makes it even sadder. I didn't know until recently, but she and Sylvia Plath were friends. How sad that both ended up committing suicide.

mariel said...

Not read it, but very intrigued. I am really starting to enjoy poetry again, so think I will look this up. Great review, thanks.

Natalie-Marie said...

Anne Sexton is one of the greatest poets ever. I'm glad you enjoyed the book...personally I'm a fan of The Death Notebooks (morbid eh?).

Debi said...

Thanks for the wonderful review! I put this on my library list after Nymeth's review, but haven't picked it up yet. You've definitely rekindled my desire to read it.

Ladytink_534 said...

Oh wow sounds like a wonderful story.

jehara said...

i'm glad you enjoyed it. i love anne sexton and sylvia plath.

Kim L said...

I haven't read this one, but I really want to after reading everyone's review of it! It sounds really good.

Jaimie said...

How interesting! Poems besed on Grimm's Fairy Tales. Great review!

jenclair said...

I really want to read this one. I read an essay by her daughter discussing the influence of fairy tales on her life, and of course, on her mother's life. She discussed a few of the poems briefly, but intriguingly.

Susan said...

This has been on my list for so long! I've had her book from the library, her collected poems, but no one seems to stock it now. One of her most heart-breaking poems was to her daughter. It's about how she is missing her daughter growing up - Anne was in the mental ward at that time - and she is apologizing and trying to explain why, and that it's not her daughter's fault. and since Nymeth nominated this as the book most like me, I think it's time I somehow find a copy!! Great review, Rhinoa!