May Day – Gretchen Marquette


Paperback, 80 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Graywolf Press
Source: Raincoast

Sometimes you read a collection of poems and you feel it in your bones and other times, you just don’t get it. Gretchen Marquette’s poems are probably beautiful written with a lot of style and feeling but reasons I cannot fathom, I simply don’t…get them.

Which is strange because I didn’t think I was a stone wall and usually I can find some way to empathize with or relate to beautiful words.

Why are so many love stories tragedies?

A verse from the poem “Doe” asks and probably reveals the theme inherent in this collection. This is a sort of extended contemplation on love with lots of deer thrown in. I suppose if I were smarter (or more inclined) I would have delved into the greater meaning symbolized by the image of the recurring deer but I’m not.

Marquette’s imagery is certainly beautiful. For example:

the plum’s gold flesh laced with scarlet veins,
replica of a human brain.

I feel like the are more of a cerebral exercise than an emotional one. Which is not to say they are bad or anything, just that I’m probably out of touch with my heart. Ha.

Why am I so ungainly with love after all the loving I have done?

I don’t quite know how to review this collection. I don’t feel like I am qualified to evaluate it in terms of its technical aspects. I just feel like this collection will mean different things to me at different times in my life. Right now, I’m not much affected by it but that doesn’t mean this will be the case a few years or even months from now on.

So maybe check this out if you like the sound of the bits I have posted?

As it turns out, the second best thing that can happen to you is a broken heart.