Book Report: The Weather of the Heart by Madeleine L’Engle (1978)

I bought this book from the local library’s discard pile for a quarter because I recognized the name and because I recognize that I don’t get enough poetry in my reading diet. Reading this book didn’t really change that anemia.

The first poems in the book, including “Within This Quickened Dust”, “To a Long Loved Love” (1-7), and “Lovers Apart”, dealt with concrete images dealing with common themes in poetry. Their language was descriptive and evocative.

Unfortunately, she too soon declines to abstractions meant to evoke abstractions, particularly her love of God. She even evokes Emily Dickinson about three poems after I unfavorably compared the two. L’Engle’s poems deal with similar subjects and have similar layers of abstractions twisting upon themselves, but when the poems start out bad, they end bad; with Emily Dickinson, they might be unfathomable, but sometimes a turn of phrase embedded within the poem can redeem the poems. Not so with L’Engle. Which made them easier to read, or more to the point, easier to scan and forget.

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