grabbing the apple book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Grabbing the Apple is an anthology of poems by women poets of New York City, with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as the central theme. The anthology takes up 84 pages, with biographies of the poets at the end. I love poetry anthologies. Look closely at the titles to give a hint of where each poem will gently or turbulently twist you. Some poems were good, but I was unable to latch onto many of them. That said, poems are a personal experience so others may feel differently.

In the poem “In Morocco,” by Iris Schwartz, the author takes us back to an ancient time, when hope kept women going, and their solidarity gave them confidence in a chaotic world. I liked this poem and could relate to it on a few levels.

Most of the poems have a moral or life lesson, like whether JoJo merely settled and serviced, or allowed her full creativity to flourish during her gigs on a yacht in Karla Merrifield’s “Because a Gig Was Hard to Come By in 1933.” Or Kate Dickson relates that people in general cannot “resist the power of your need” as she seems to compare her lamp’s light bulb to something (possibly a lover). I did enjoy the few poems that were obviously passionately personal for someone the author knew intimately, but who I will never understand fully. I liked those poems that still stayed with me a few days later, and left me wondering about the subject matter.

Reading Jane LeCroy’s “Samonella Cinderella” makes tons of sense when you get to the phrase “I read your mind, never mind. Always your deck, never mine.” Most people can relate to that obvious inequality in a relationship, the kind of situation you are powerless most times to correct (without just leaving the person entirely).

Of course, there were a few poems featuring dead children, depression, feminist jargon, a rape scene, “bathed my house in blood” type of themes–generally not my taste but it is poetry that some people prefer to read, or can get something out of by reading it. The poems did successfully nail the themes of the chapter titles, and for that it can be noted as a good anthology carefully edited for the readers to enjoy at their leisure.

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After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Casa de Snapdragon LLC. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.