Friday, August 29, 2014

"Ernest Hemingway: Complete Poems" edited by Nicholas Gerogiannis

If you're surprised to learn that Hemingway wrote poetry, well, I was too!  In fact, until a few weeks ago, I didn't even know he wrote poetry.  But then I stumbled on this book, or mention of it somewhere, and promptly got it from the library and read it.

If you're not interested in Ernest Hemingway as a writer or a person, you probably don't need to read this book.  As a window into what he was thinking and feeling at different times in his life, these poems are interesting, but as poetry they range from thought-provoking to silly to odd.  I found the notes on the poems, what was going on when he wrote them and such, more interesting than most of the poems.

My favorite was a very short poem that made me smile.  I'm going to reprint it here and hope I don't get into copyright trouble.  If I do, I'll take it down.
"[I'm off'n wild wimmen...]
I'm off'n wild wimmen
An Cognac
An sinnin'
For I'm in loOOOOOOOve.
And if that makes you think, "Hmm, that doesn't sound like what I'd expect from Hemingway," let me assure you most of the poetry is not at all like that.  That's just the one that I liked best.  It's from around 1922, in Paris, and so boyish and sweet I can't help but smile at it.

Some of his poetry was easy to understand, some of it was hard, some was traditional, some was very modern.  A very interesting mix, for sure!

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for language and themes of war and violence.

This is my 14th book read and reviewed for the I Love Library Books Challenge.


  1. Thanks for the great info! I never knew Hemingway wrote poetry, either. And while I find it a little hard to imagine him as a poet - his style of using few words to say more might actually lend itself well to poetry.

    1. I know, right? At first I thought it felt weird that Hemingway wrote poetry, but then after I thought about it a while, it totally fit. That desire to capture exact moments and images, that search for the meatiest way to say something -- it makes sense. He actually did publish a number of poems, people just seem to have forgotten about them.

  2. Fascinating! I like a little variety--this might be just the thing. I think it's fun that you hear about books that sound good and immediately grab them, too. I always have to put it off until I read five or more other things, and by then some of the excitement of a new discovery has worn off. And congrats on meeting your original goal!

    1. Yes, sometimes a book sits on my to-read list for years before I get to it. And sometimes it just happens to be in at the library right after I learn about it, and off we go. That frisson on initial interest can be so heady when you jump right into the book!


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