Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bookish Thoughts: Joy Street by Laura Foley


Joy Street by Laura Foley
Headmistress Press, 2014
Poetry; 48 pgs
From the Publisher: 
"Joy Street" pays lyrical homage to the truth of living as a lesbian in the second half of life. Each poem in this radiantly plainspoken collection offers subtle and penetrating observations that swell to a rich tapestry of ordinary life, beheld from a stance of grace and buoyancy. Starting with intimations of desire in childhood, these poems travel through ordinary domestic scenes to the blessing of a maturity in which the narrator, still embracing desire and wild promise, thrives in the midst of life's darker gifts.

When first approached to read and review Laura Foley's book of poetry, Joy Street, I hesitated. While I occasionally read poetry, it is not something I read often nor am completely comfortable reviewing it. I have said before I am a bit intimidated by poetry, afraid I often miss the intricate meanings behind the words. Having said that, perhaps you will be surprised to know I write poetry from time to time.

I decided to take on the challenge and give Joy Street a try. My first thought was how much I appreciated her free form style, and how simple the poems were--simple in how approachable each poem was, I mean. Not in terms of depth--for there was depth. With each poem, the reader gets to see into the heart and mind of the author, experiencing her life through her words.

There were poems I liked better than others, some I could relate to and some that touched a personal chord with me. There was "Near Miss", a poem about the feeling of dread and foreboding that sometimes hits us; when we think of the tragic things that have befallen our friends and family, and realize how lucky we are, sure we might have--and still could be--next.  There was the poem about the "Dinner Party" which read like a script from my every day life. How often I am listening to a conversation and think of something to add, only to fail to do so--that missed opportunity. "Springtime in the Grocery Store" made me think of young love and brought up my own memories with my husband. "Hindsight" and "No Humming" (the second brought tears to my eyes) brought out thoughts and memories of my dad.

The final poem of the book, "Low Night Tide", was my favorite of all:
Around our feet, 
the scritch-scritch-scratch  
of claws on sand,  
ancient sounds  
of midnight rounds,  
of seemingly solid ground  
shifting under us:  
revealing worlds below our own.
As you can see, I cannot read poetry without reflecting it back on my own life. I do that with the books I read as well. I enjoyed reading Laura Foley's Joy Street, spending time in the author's mind while at the same time feeling her words in my own way.


To learn more about Laura Foley, and her book, please visit the author's website.

I hope you will check out what others had to say about Joy Street on the TLC Book Tours route!




Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour. E-Copy of the book provided by the publisher.



© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

22 comments:

  1. Poetry is hit and miss with me. I appreciate ut more I think, when the poems are simply written or happen to be about something I can easily relate to.

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    1. Ti - I'm with you. The more I am able to relate to a poem, the more I enjoy it. Sometimes I am attracted to poetry because of the play on words and sounds, but it isn't often. This collection is very straight forward, I think, and easy for me to relate to.

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, too! She manages to say a lot in so few words. I had no idea you write poetry. Maybe you'll share some with us?

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    1. Anna - I saved your review, but haven't read it yet. I will probably be by later today. :-) I don't know if I am confident enough in my writing to share it with the public, but you never know.

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  3. I love poetry...sometimes. I have to be in the mood for it and the more simply-written, the better. I did enjoy that short poem of hers you shared above, and thanks for breaking the sameness of our reviews with a poetry example!

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  4. Ok, Wendy, you gotta share some poetry! :)

    So glad you enjoyed this collection. I did too. Like you, some poems made me think about my own experiences and I appreciate seeing how she can describe feelings that maybe I felt about a situation, etc.

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    1. Iliana - She does a good job of capturing the feeling in a moment, doesn't she?

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    2. Oh, and, no. I'm not brave enough to share. LOL

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  5. Poetry doesn't always work for me. I am always worried that I am missing the point somewhere. But this collection sounds amazing and more relatable!

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    1. Athira - I think this collection is rather straight forward, which is good for those of us worried about missing something. :-)

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  6. I really enjoyed your interview post with the author because she likes some of my favorite poets. I'd like to see more of Laura Foley's poem, too; from other comments, I'm not the only one who wants a little more. :)

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    1. Jenclair - It's a shame the collection was so short. :-) If you do get a chance to read it, I hope you enjoy it!

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  7. I don't read much poetry, but this sounds lovely.

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    1. Irene - I enjoyed the collection. I don't often read poetry either--maybe a poem here and there now and then. Usually not entire collections.

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  8. I haven't read free form poetry before but the excepts I've seen from this book really appeal to me. I'm glad you enjoyed it Wendy!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

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    1. Heather - I'm sure with all the reviews you read, you've probably read a very good sampling!

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  9. I think poetry, even more than novels, affects me more if it touches my life. There were definitely some pieces here that did that.

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    1. Lisa - I am glad you liked this collection so much. I definitely identified with several of the poems.

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  10. I think it would be great to see some of your poems, but you should share only when you feel up to it. I am so glad that you liked this collection.

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