Review of Math for Couples by Adele Graf

Posted by in netgalley copy

I continue my quest to better appreciate poetry. This one has the word math in the title. I like math. By transitivity ...

Yeah, poetry doesn't work like that.

Again, I struggle with my attempts to appreciate poetry. Do I simply not appreciate poetry? Is Math for Couples not poetry to be appreciated? There are moments, little lines and turns of phrases that were like the snap of Lego pieces fitting together when I read it, but today, the day afterwards, I couldn't tell you what any of those lines were. I can tell you the first group of poems has lots to do with thinking about grandmothers; I think a lot of about my grandmother, so that was for me. There were also some poems that were more rhythmic, repeating syllables, mixing syllables up, getting somewhere new (i.e. yatter on page 77); poems like that remind me of playing Bartok on the piano, going back between smooth and choppy, and I like the contrast. But none of the poems rhymed, and I'm realizing that in my louche, uneducated way, I really like rhyming poetry (like A.A. Milne). Like I can say I like certain rhyming poems (say Disobedience by A.A. Milne), but other than a second here and there with the vanishing Lego click moments, I don't know if I liked the entirety of a poem in Math for Couples. Also, I didn't dislike one single thing either. I read the poems, I worked on appreciating the poems, but then I got to the end, still as befuddled about good poetry as I ever was.

And the eponymous Math for Couples poem: I saw what it was trying to do, but my math-brain shuddered at the lines with 1+1 > 2 and 1+1 <2. Put numbers in and the literal part of my brain takes over. Another poem was in a table though. I thought that was interesting.

Math for Couples by Adele Graf went on sale April 1, 2017.

I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.