doubles the size
of a soul.
Triples the length
of the rosary”
For me, “Hope” was the most affecting poem in a book of things I found beautiful and funny. The first cartoon image into my head was of a Catholic Grinch, crossing himself over his Santa suit with his green claws. Next was my standard adolescent response, but even that applies to the wider world. As I sat in (or avoided going to) hospitals most of the year 2011 and early 2012 I know that every good report from a doctor causes that great intake of air, and the worry draws as I anticipate the next visit.
This book is everything I think poetry should be. It is concise, it can be biting and it can be comforting. When she makes a play on words it feels like a quiet joke shared between the author and the reader, they don’t feel like something that the writer looked at and said “I’m so fucking clever.” which isn’t to say she shouldn’t have.
In my mind Katerina is a folk hero and I hear about her through primarily through second hand sources and reputation, but it’s a towering reputation and I was glad to read the poetry. When setting an arbitrary goal to read a lot of books in a set amount of time I’ve found that I don’t actually care about some of them ( the upcoming Book 17, A Clockwork Orange) so it is nice when the book turns out to be a legitimate pleasure