Cattails and Meadowlarks: Poems from the Country

Edited by Ruth Benedict
Copyright 1981
Checked out 0 times in 29 years

Considering the subject matter and the homey simplicity of the poetry found within this volume, the lack of interest surprises me. I wonder if it’s simply because it’s saddle-stapled and thus people are unable to read the title on the spine as they scan across the shelf looking for a book to take home.

Since this invisibility problem has prevented this book from being read, I suggest removing it from the collection. It was acquired (donated?) originally because a local writer, Jeri Holcomb, is in it. Perhaps someone could look her up or a member of her family to see if they would like it (over the course of 30 years, it could be she’s now got grandkids she’d like to have a copy).

Reiman Publications may even be interested in it. I don’t know if they published additional poetry books, but it’s from an historic period for their publishing house, back when it was publishing Farm Wife News, which eventually became Country Woman and which spawned the publication Farm & Ranch.

The poetry in the volume is unexceptional, though a “farm wife” could certainly relate to many of the sentiments and situations the poems illustrate–and the majority of them do illustrate–and could enjoy the humor. If the book were visible on the shelf, I’d say keep it there, but it’s obviously not able to catch people’s attention. I also enjoyed reading the little bios of the poets in the back, all the different women from all over the country engaged in all manner of farming. Although a variety of emotions are expressed in the poems, overall it’s a warm fuzzies sort of book.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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