A Look at April’s Reading List

April is National Poetry month and the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club team has chosen to focus on poetry for our book club’s reading selections. They have curated a selection of poems for our main selection and paired that with 5 different poetry collection books as flight picks. In addition, they have two poetry classes on the schedule and I am really looking forward to them! Poetry has not been something I have always enjoyed. I have a handful of poets I enjoy reading: Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, some of Robert Frost, and a couple of others. But by and large, it is not something I pick up to read on a regular basis simply for enjoyment.

Honestly, some poetry intimidates me I think. I have especially struggled with epic poetry. Things like The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beowulf, Paradise Lost – these have all been works I have had on my list of things to read because I feel they are good for me to read but not because I necessarily just would love to read them. 🙂 I can now say I have read The Iliad and Beowulf both in their entirety. The Iliad….well…..yeah, no….didn’t enjoy it. But the translation of Beowulf I read this past year I found I actually did enjoy! I still need to tackle The Odyssey and Paradise Lost though.

Anyhoo….

Setting aside epic poetry, there is so much more to look at in the form of writing called poetry. I think that maybe I just don’t know how to read poetry well if it doesn’t rhyme. A little embarrassing to admit, I think, but there it is. Thanks to the nudge from the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club team, I’m going to take the opportunity this month to really dive into the art of poetry and try to learn how to better read various different types and styles of poetry; and maybe, hopefully then, enjoy it even more.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

With that in mind, I am planning to pair up our book club reading(s) with a couple of books I have on my shelf:

  • How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch
  • A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

I am fairly certain I won’t be able to get both of these read by the end of the month. But that’s okay. The goal is not to get them completely read in a certain time frame. The goal is to begin reading them and let them teach me. Let them help me learn more about poetry and maybe even fall in love with it. (Here’s hoping! 🙂 )

Along with these two books, I will of course read the specially curated collection of poems from the MMD team, as well as try to read some of the flight picks (I’ve already read one and it was phenomenal!) as well as any other poetry collections I may like to give a try. And as I already mentioned, I plan to join in for both poetry classes offered this month in the book club.

Aside from the deep dive into the realm of poetry, I have two other books I plan to read. First, I have been feeling in the mood to re-read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. This book was my first time reading a Steinbeck novel and honestly, I didn’t care for it a whole lot. But after reading East of Eden last year and finding it to be a phenomenal book, I decided I wanted to give The Grapes of Wrath another try. And so I think I am going to begin that this week.

And second, my IRL book club has chosen A Moveable Feast by Hemingway for our read this month. I am so excited to read this! It’s on my classics TBR and I’ve heard very high praises of it. I will probably try to start that about mid-month. If I can wait that long! LOL I may just spread it out over the whole month. We’ll see!

Being the mood reader that I am, there could of course be adjustments to these plans. I’ve got the month pretty scheduled with very little room for reading on a whim. But I will try to listen in to my reading mood throughout the month and adjust if I feel the need to. 🙂

What do you have in your plans for reading this month?

4 thoughts on “A Look at April’s Reading List

  1. I read A Poetry Handbook by Oliver and found it useful, and another book on poetry I recommend is The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser – it is more exciting that the title suggests. Coincidentally, I will also be re-reading The Grapes of Wrath soon and after that I will probably jump straight to Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent. Though it is not quite in season reading, I hear it is very underrated.

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