But Still, Music
But Still, Music by Anne Pitkin truly is a beautiful poetry collection. Rich in imagery, emotion, and passion, these poems are exceptionally composed.
The collection is divided into two sections, both of which focus on different parts of Pitkin’s life. The first section refers to Pitkin’s life in the segregated south. Growing up middle-class in the Jim Crow era, her family, like many at the time, had employed African American maids to help clean the house and take care of the children.
One of my favorite poems in this section was titled “Southern,” where Pitkin talks about Elsie, their maid. Pitkin writes that Elsie took her on the bus but didn’t sit with her. Elsie ate in the kitchen with the yard man instead of at the dinner table with their family. Pitkin says that when she injured herself barefoot in their yard, she didn’t need money, food, soap, or running water; she had Elsie, who soothed her sores and provided for her needs. This poem highlights the childlike innocence of Pitkin, completely unaware of Elsie’s struggles and situation but still full of love for her dear maid who always took care of her.
Another poem I particularly liked in this collection was titled “The First Home,” a dedication to Pitkin’s childhood friend, Michael. Full of sorrow and nostalgia, she recalls the best friend of her childhood with wonder. Inseparable in youth, Pitkin recalls their days together, quarreling, playing, and climbing trees. Unfortunately, she has lost touch with Michael besides a drunken phone call saying “I love you” years ago. I loved this poem not only because it was beautifully written but also because it made me think of my own childhood friends and memories. Overflowing with imagery and emotion in every verse, this poem stood out to me as I deeply felt Pitkin’s grief and love for Michael.
Finally, “Afterlife” was another poem that I loved from this book. Told from Botswana in the Okavango Delta, Pitkin recalls a trip she took with a friend. Both recently divorced, they went to Botswana on their savings to see all the country has to offer. Their guide on a sort of riverboat tour tells them if they fall out of the boat, they will be eaten by crocodiles, which thrills them both even more. I loved this poem because the imagery of the animals and scenery was pristine. I felt transported to the banks of the Okavango Delta myself, alongside Pitkin and her friend, gazing into the water.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and all its tales. For all readers who enjoy poetry, especially poetry full of nature and sorrow, I would recommend this book.
|Page Count||74 pages|
|Publisher||Pleasure Boat Studio|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Poetry & Short Stories|