Last spring I attended the annual alumnae luncheon for Douglass College, my alma mater, (division of Rutgers University) and met Barbara Crooker. I recently sent for two of her books, MORE and GOLD and read both of them within 2 days of receiving them.
Reading Barbara’s poetry is like seeing the English language in a different light. Using phrases, metaphors, and attributing human characteristics to non-human items (such as in “Chocolate” below) creates wonderful imagery! I am sold on her poetry.
With Valentine’s Day this month, I decided to choose this poem, “Chocolate” from her book MORE. (I will put the second poem from GOLD in another posting.)
Chocolate and Valentine’s Day just seem like a natural combo.
I thoroughly enjoy her poems and hope to feature more in future blogs. Her books are available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/193619600X/?tag=barbaracrooke-20 and possibly in local book stores or directly from Barbara: email@example.com. MORE is published by C&R Press in Chattanooga, TN (2010) and costs $14.95. Their website is: www.crpress.org.
P.S. I love the abstract cover, especially the vibrant colors. The artist is Marilyn Banner: http://www.marilynbanner.com/.
ODE TO CHOCOLATE
I hate milk chocolate, don’t want clouds
of cream diluting the dark night sky,
don’t want pralines or raisins, rubble
in this smooth plateau. I like my coffee
black, my beer from Germany, wine
from Burgundy, the darker, the better.
I like my heroes complicated and brooding,
James Dean in oiled leather, leaning
on a motorcycle. You know the color.
Oh, chocolate! From the spice bazaars
of Africa, hulled in mills, beaten,
pressed in bars. The cold slab of a cave’s
interior, when all the stars
have gone to sleep.
Chocolate strolls up to the microphone
and plays jazz at midnight, the low slow
notes of a bass clarinet. Chocolate saunters
down the runway, slouches in quaint
boutiques; its style is je ne sais quoi.
Chocolate stays up late and gambles,
likes roulette. Always bets
on the noir.