Read May Day: Poems by Gretchen Marquette Online


You arrive at my altar with no ideawhat it means to worship--to adore. You haven't even learned it:ecstasy and suffering make the same face.--from "The Offering"May Day is both a distress call and a celebration of the arrival of spring. In this rich and unusually assured first collection, the poet Gretchen Marquette writes of the losses of a brother gone off to war in Afg You arrive at my altar with no ideawhat it means to worship--to adore. You haven't even learned it:ecstasy and suffering make the same face.--from "The Offering"May Day is both a distress call and a celebration of the arrival of spring. In this rich and unusually assured first collection, the poet Gretchen Marquette writes of the losses of a brother gone off to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a great love--losses that have left the world charged with absence and grief. But there is also the wonder of the natural world: the deer at the edge of the forest, the dog reliably coaxing the poet beyond herself and into the city park where by tradition every May Day is pageantry, a festival of surviving the long winter. "What does it mean to be in love?" one poem asks. "As it turns out, / the second best thing that can happen to you / is a broken heart."May Day introduces readers to a new poet of depth and power....

Title : May Day: Poems
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781555977399
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 80 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

May Day: Poems Reviews

  • Sduff222
    2019-06-04 11:51

    I was super thrilled to receive this book from Graywolf via their goodreads giveaway. Great collection. Love the slightly oversized pages. All that white space is like a forced meditation. There are a lot of connections to nature - it would be the perfect book to read on a hike.

  • Kasey Jueds
    2019-05-26 12:31

    I have been feeling especially grateful for poetry lately, and this is one of the books that sparked that gratitude. I read it all in a single sitting and already am feeling I'll want to reread it, soon. The poems are profoundly heartful (a favorite word which I'm not sure is a real word because it keeps getting the red dotted underline - a word that feels esp. apt here), wise, honest, open-hearted, wide-ranging and true in their emotional lives. Beautiful without being show-offy. I love, particularly, how female the poems feel. How brave they are in stating their concerns, which I think are old-fashioned in some ways (in a good way - more like timeless). They take up love and intimacy and the loss of both, fear and joy, romantic love, war (a soldier brother deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq features in a number of them). They are formally varied and varied in terms of length (one of my favorites is 3 lines long; another is about 5 pages) and tone. They are not afraid to be deeply glad; they are not afraid to be afraid. They feel like clear pools you can see straight to the bottom of.

  • Chris Eells
    2019-06-13 12:45

    I was provided this book free for an unbiased review.I really wish I was better at poetry! Better at writing it, better at reading it, better at understanding it. Unfortunately, I'm not, and that will make it difficult for me to review Gretchen Marquette's May Day.Marquette is pretty good at generating visuals, and for me, that's what I need in poetry. Several of her works played like short movies and touched me very much. Others, (the math one for instance) went completely over my head and may as well have been random words thrown together. Fortunately there were few of those.I ached with loss emanating from the pages, with restless concern for those fighting in foreign lands, and with guilt at thoughtlessly/selfishly dealing with others; of fear/hope of the possibility of love.It was good. I like it!

  • Kate Vogl
    2019-06-03 19:52

    Beautiful. Evocative. Powerful.

  • Jeanna
    2019-06-12 15:43

    Blown away by these poems.

  • Will
    2019-06-17 15:29

    Marquette's collection contains some remarkable poems about her relationships, her neighborhoods, and the nature of Minnesota. Many of the author's strongest poems weaved all three together. The collection also featured some heavy reflecting on what you can mean to others and the ways that we grow and change. I enjoyed the collection as a whole but also found many of the poems to be a bit repetitive in subject matter. Would recommend to poetry friends trying to get a feel for Minneapolis and to friends looking for contemporary nature poetry.

  • tortoise dreams
    2019-05-21 16:40

    The first book by Minnesota poet, Gretchen Marquette, published in 2016.Poetry Review: May Day by Gretchen Marquette is poetry as poetry should be; these are the kind of poems that could save poetry and make it something that real people actually read. I'm so sad that poetry has become a secret society, only read by other poets (& perhaps their patient friends), or by students required to attend readings by faculty poets. If not for slams, the word "poetry" might've been lost altogether.The poems in May Day place cut-glass emotions into sharp relief against nature, talking in ways that speak to all of us, mind to mind, heart to heart, history to history. With an image of a wounded doe in mind, she writes: "Don't think on it too long./I know I'd die of thirst," and we're deep in Marquette's history, a history that mixes with ours, parallel or shared. These poems dance through time, of childhood, parents and brothers, of lovers lost and summers past, a memory sleeping in the next room. A poem about a turtle on a road cries out, "Why aren't I your wife?" There are deer, forest, fishermen, cows, hawks, dogs, and they morph at any moment into this instant's thought: Iraq, hurt, the pain of love, loss. Poems with blood, with subtle undertones of Plath (almost unavoidable, I think), and moments touched by Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), that Marquette has made all her own: "... my lost dolls,/your small guitar, and my broken horses." Her influences have been absorbed deep into the bones of these mature, well made poems. There are so many lines that just kill me: "You've got all the words/though I go on, fumbling./Let me learn another language" and "Spring has arrived./Let me not despair."Without counting, more than half the poems in May Day are so powerful, so resonant, pointing the way to a book that could rip trees out of the ground. So what didn't I like? Sometimes it's a little too trendy, post-modernist for me: Gretchen Marquette is strongest when simply communicating through her exact and pointed images, stripped naked, without throwing in the requisite academic tropes. And there's also the occasional scientific factoids, dropped in like raisins, that I've also noticed in works by other poets, so it may now be a trend that's crept into the business. I may be wrong, my prejudice showing, but the best poems here come straight from Marquette's bones, without the stylish overlay that make them beloved of academics and journals (this is all from Lorca's "Play and Theory of the Duende," which I'm sure Marquette has read.) When she lets the duende break through, I'd put her words up against anyone writing today. The poems in May Day have a depth, a humanity, that is all too rare in our world. A second book by Gretchen Marquette is a necessity. [4 Stars]

  • Lee Razer
    2019-06-20 17:36

    I've kept it quiet,where to find the brightest,most exacting love.Much of it burns off.What remains, remains...We sat under hot light,in a round room plush with the breathof strangers. I said, We haveseventy pages left to love one another.Across his chest burst a sashof gold chrysanthemum.One thing I've learned -you have to let love be practicefor what might happenelsewhere.From opening poem "Elsewhere" in this collection that tells a story of loss and absence, and of a wide universe scary in its expansiveness yet offering comforts in small specifics, like in the round yellow shape of butter melted in hot water on the stove. I really enjoyed it.Weeks after the last time, she bled.It was startling. There would never be anyonemade from the way he needed her.- "Lost"

  • Chelsi
    2019-06-15 17:52

    I really enjoyed this book of poems. I felt connected to many of them. I loved the use of animals and nature and the detailed visuals. The variety of styles kept them engaging. I hadn’t read a poetry book in a while and this one reminded me why I love them, and how they can draw me in. I won this book in a goodreads giveaway and it turned out to be a great prize! I would read it again and recommend it to friends.

  • Derek
    2019-06-15 15:50

    (I won a Goodreads giveaway for this book.)This is a fine collection of poetry that will definitely resonate with those who have experienced loss, as many of these poems deal with loss or its inevitability, though it's not totally without hope. The poems are not overly verbose or flashy and are rather strongly visually. I will definitely keep an eye out for her future works.

  • B
    2019-06-14 13:29

    "And now I'm bottle blue boat, lost in the squall of you, and the wave crashing over your head"Gretchen Marquette doesn't nail every poem in this book, but she makes more than she misses. And when she makes... oof.

  • Andrew Cruze
    2019-05-21 13:44

    I've read this collection twice now, once in the spring and once in the fall, both times in my sunroom while it rained. On both occasions, Gretchen's poems were the perfect companion. The way she captures the wonder of nature and the power of desire is astonishing. She is a true master.

  • R.K. Cowles
    2019-06-17 16:43

    another poetry book won on goodreads giveaways. a few interesting[experimental/abstract] poems I enjoyed rest a small percentage was good the others I had difficulties reading, nothing that interested me.