In Darwin's Room
An artful new collection from a poet who sees the extraordinary within the everydayIn her tenth volume of poetry, Debora Greger looks outward from the broadmindedness of the interior. Whether she finds herself in Venice, in London, or young again in the sagebrush desert of her childhood, the reader may feel Greger is both there and not there--her landscapes are haunted by memory, even in the act of experience. Not shying from the raw or savage in life, not ignoring the small moments of salvation or grace, she finds in every room an entrance to another world. Darwin's college quarters prove not far from his cabin on the Beagle. A dress shop in Virginia reveals itself a Federal parlor through which a battle of the Civil War was fought. Returning to old scenes with a new eye, Greger proves herself a poet of quiet cunning, of grand scenes and small awakenings.

In Darwin's Room Details

TitleIn Darwin's Room
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 6th, 2017
PublisherPenguin Books
ISBN0143131311
ISBN-139780143131311
Rating
GenrePoetry

In Darwin's Room Review

  • Marne Wilson
    July 20, 2017
    At the poetry conference I recently attended, we spent some time discussing patterns of organization for poetry collections. Most people these days think that a collection should have a single unifying theme, but one of the instructors said it can sometimes work to have three or four sections, each with their own tight theme. I'd been trying to get a handle on this collection for the last few days, and it helped when I realized that this book does have a completely different theme for each of th At the poetry conference I recently attended, we spent some time discussing patterns of organization for poetry collections. Most people these days think that a collection should have a single unifying theme, but one of the instructors said it can sometimes work to have three or four sections, each with their own tight theme. I'd been trying to get a handle on this collection for the last few days, and it helped when I realized that this book does have a completely different theme for each of the four sections.The first section, and for me the most compelling, are poems about the history of science. There are several poems about Darwin, as well as others about his scientific contemporaries. My favorite poem in this section was "The Last Dodo in Iowa," in which Greger describes walking through the ratty natural science museum in Iowa City until she suddenly comes face-to-face with that remarkable specimen. (When I was there, it felt like I may have been the only visitor in the past hundred years, and Greger captures that feeling very well.)The second section are poems of childhood, and based on the age of the speaker, I have a feeling they are largely autobiographical. The third and fourth sections consist of poems about Florida and England, respectively, which are the author's two home territories at present.As for the poetry itself, Greger is a master of the image, but I wasn't able to connect very much with the emotions behind the images. Perhaps she's just not the right poet for me at this time of my life, but I was glad to have an opportunity to read this collection anyway.
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  • Joseph
    July 17, 2017
    I may not be the best person to review In Darwin’s Room. I don’t particularly like poetry. I signed up for a free Goodreads Giveaway because I was told over and over I should read poetry. I picked Debora Greger because she has a record of publishing books of poetry.I guess I’m old school. I like poems to rhyme and to have rhythm and to have periods at the end of each stanza. Under those requirements, the book gets one star. Now once I realized it’s not a book of poetry under my definition but in I may not be the best person to review In Darwin’s Room. I don’t particularly like poetry. I signed up for a free Goodreads Giveaway because I was told over and over I should read poetry. I picked Debora Greger because she has a record of publishing books of poetry.I guess I’m old school. I like poems to rhyme and to have rhythm and to have periods at the end of each stanza. Under those requirements, the book gets one star. Now once I realized it’s not a book of poetry under my definition but instead a book of reflections and memories, it fared better. Greger and I must be about the same age so I related to her childhood cultural references. In fact, some parts of the book sparkled and were mind-expanding. Unfortunately too often she turned vague and abstruse, one the things I don’t like about poetry. Anyway, if you like modern it-don’t-rhyme ‘poetry,’ and aren’t thrown off by vague offshoots at inconvenient places, Greger offers up some nice insights, reflections and imagery.
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  • Alexandria
    June 13, 2017
    The poems were beautifully written. The author really knows how to make you feel like your there. Brilliant job! :)
  • John Wheeles
    May 21, 2017
    Reading these poems is like having an artist draw in your head.
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