In this collection of poems about coming of age in the modern world, critically acclaimed author Jennifer Recchio takes on such thrilling subjects as math, groceries, and oil changes. The collection includes poems that have been published in online magazines such as Word Riot and Defenestration, and other poems that have never been seen before.
I’m not a big reader of poetry, but when I saw Odeful on NetGalley, I was intrigued enough to give it a try. There are several different types of styles here, so if one poem isn’t to a reader’s fancy, the next may be more appealing.
I hadn’t read a poem anthology on my Kindle before, so I did need to change the font size, unlock the screen, and turn my Kindle so the display changed, in order for the line breaks to match what the author originally intended, so I would recommend that to anyone reading on an eReader. If that isn’t done, it can be difficult to tell where a line break is intended and where the previous line is simply spilling over into the next. I read this one a couple of times before reviewing, and I think it was worth the reread – knowing where a poem is going to go when I start helps ground me a bit.
The poem “Cliches Get Stuck Under Your Fingernails” is my favorite from this collection, with a kind of twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, but there were several others that I enjoyed as well. Recchio touches on a wide range of subjects in her anthology, among them the lives of characters in commercials after the commercial ends, from her poem “After These Messages.” While I couldn’t recall every commercial she referenced in that particular work, I still found it amusing, and it wasn’t something I personally had thought about before. “Dangerous Things,” a poem about writing poetry, also interested me as someone who mainly writes prose, and the lines about “bloody deleted chunks” of prose being thrown away while poetry “boils out of the atmosphere” really stood out to me. Some of Recchio’s imagery is really vivid, and I loved lines like that.
Odeful is a very short collection, but there is a lot to like here, and I think between all the different styles and subjects, there is probably something for everyone. I’d say it’s a good starting point for someone just getting into poetry, or someone just trying it out. Like with any anthology of stories or poems, some of Recchio’s works spoke to me and others didn’t, but overall, I found it to be a fairly enjoyable collection.
I received a copy of this collection from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars