What You Can Do in Eighteen Hours
Write a term paper
Cram for a final
Fly across the ocean
Scale a mountain
Run a marathon
Deliver a baby
Read War and Peace
Fall in love
Fall out of love
See the moon disappear
Watch the sun rise and set
Wait to be discovered
lashed to a fence
Shivering under a blanket
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard Leaslea Newman
On October 6, 1998, Matthew Shephard was kidnapped from a bar, beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die. 18 hours later he was discovered. 5 days later he died. He was murdered for being gay.
The week he died was Gay Awareness Week and Newman was the keynote speaker for the activities that the University of Wyoming’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Association were hosting. Shepard was part of that group, had helped plan the week.
It took Newman years to process this horrific crime and what resulted is this collection of poetry.
We can argue it’s an important book because of the subject matter. And it is. But HOLY SHIT is it just an amazing work of poetry.
Newman writes poems from multiple perspectives, both people and inanimate objects, and general poems, interspersed with quotations from the sheriff, the news, the murderers, and judge, and others.
Only Matthew’s voice is missing.
She plays with form to an amazing effect, each one carefully chosen to match the narrator and the content. It's more a chronological collection of poems rather than a cohesive verse novel.
The pure artistry makes this one a total gut punch. You will cry.
I was hesitant to pick it up. I’m so glad I did. I hope you do, too.
Today's Poetry Friday roundup is over at The Opposite of Indifference.
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.