Saturday, June 17, 2017
Fe-Lines by Norman R. Shapiro
The French have long had a love affair with the cat, expressed through centuries of poetry portraying the animal's wit and wonder. Norman R. Shapiro lionizes the felines' limitless allure in this one-of-a-kind collection. Spanning centuries and styles, he draws on she-cats and toms, and an honor roll of French poets, well known and lesser known, who have served as their devoted champions. He reveals the remarkable range of French cat poems, with most works presented here for the first time in English translation. Scrupulously devoted to evoking the meaning and music of the originals, Shapiro also respects the works' formal structures. Pairing his translations with Olga Pastuchiv's elegant illustrations, Fe-Lines guides the reader through the marvels and inscrutabilities of the Mystique féline.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).
For those of you that have been around since I started book reviewing, you know I love books about cats. I will read any genre, even genres I usually don't like, if I find a book in the genre about cats. Typically, I don't road poetry. In fact, before now, I think the last time I read poetry was when I read the Shel Silverstein books when I was a kid. It's just not one of those genres I enjoy. However, when I saw a book of poems about cats, Fe-Lines, for request on NetGalley, I wanted to read it badly. Unfortunately, I ended up disappointed.
I was hoping that I would be able to identify with Fe-Lines, and that it would make me laugh. In actuality, I was extremely bored. I found the whole book to be tedious. In fact, towards the end of the book, I found myself skimming through the poems, just to be done with the book. The only reason why I chose to give the book two stars instead of one is that I liked the illustrations. Most of them were adorable, and fit well with the poems. That was the only thing I found enjoyable throughout the whole experience.
Based on my reaction to Fe-Lines, maybe poetry isn't my thing after all. I think it will be quite some time before I pick up a book of poetry, and try it again. The book didn't give me that joyful feeling I usually feel when I read books about cats, and stumble across a quirk that I can identify with, because I've seen my cat do the same thing. If you like poetry, I would recommend at least trying this book. However, don't go into it with high expectations.
I give Fe-Lines: 2/5.
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I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.