Look, I don't like poetry. I don't mind if you like it—I won't give you a wedgie in the schoolyard or call you names at recess. I just don't want any on my tray in the cafeteria.
The thing is, though, Jacqueline Woodson writes books that sneakily claim to be something other than poetry (even though let's be real, that's exactly what they are) and they hook me every time. Like a Pinterest-inspired suburban mom hiding pureed peas in the lasagna, Woodson tricks me into reading and loving her poetry by pretending it's memoir or fiction.
Her latest volume of P-O-E-T-R-Y (because if I spell it, I won't know what it is), Another Brooklyn, is disguised as a novel about four girlfriends growing up in the '70s. Narrator August is all grown up now, but a chance meeting with one of her old friends on a train leads her to reflect on their fragile and fleeting teenage years—all the things they thought they knew, and all the ways that time shaped their lives.
Woodson may be a novelist, a memoirist, a young adult author—but she's a poet first, and the proof is on every page. I just want to wrap up in her beautiful words like they’re a fleece blanket and sleep forever.
That doesn't mean anything, though. Because I don't like poetry.