Today's Poetry Friday is an offering of a verse novel review
On Pointe Lorie Ann Grover
By now you have all probably figured out that I have a weakness for ballet novels. Someday I'd like to do some research into the changing world of ballet novels-- when they started actively talking about permanent foot damage and eating disorders. When the heroine wasn't always guaranteed to grow up to be the world's biggest ballet star.
This one follows a more modern ballet novel plot and as a frequent reader of such things, the ballet plot was pretty predictable and wrapped up a little too quickly.
Clare is living with her grandfather for the summer, taking intensive ballet classes, preparing for an audition for the City Ballet Company. Failure, for her, is not an option, but she doesn't have control over everything and may have to face the unfaceable.
As a verse novel, this one is a bit different in that it is one long poem instead of a series of poems. As a poem, it falls into the trap of many verse novels and doesn't really work on the level of poetry. The moments of poetry come when Clare is dancing, but when it's general plot and dialogue, it doesn't work as well.
But, it is obvious that Grover is a dancer and danced at the intense level that Clare does. She's gone through the auditions and competitiveness of that level of dance and writes about it in completely authentic voice. And this is why the poetry works best when it's about the dancing.
like a pot
of chicken soup.
from deep inside.
We breathe it all
Here is the moment
when the music flows into my bones,
and I don't have to
think of the steps,
and I don't have to count the movements,
and it really feels
like I might actually be
for a few seconds.
I'm a pale dust mote
swirling on a warm
I leap and float,
land deep and rise
to step and spin in the shaft of light,
who I really am.
Round up is over at Teaching Books.
Book Provided by... my local library
Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.