Kentucky Derby Poems by James O. Nall

Copyright 1975
Checked out 3 times in 35 years
Last checked out 10 years ago

The circulation of this book and the quality of the poetry within it in no way justify keeping it on the shelf. Yet it’s such a quirky, interesting project that I suggest leaving it on the there. In it Nall writes a poem to each Derby winner. Before each poem he provides basic facts about the horse and lists those who placed. Each poem also has a poetic P.S. with additional information about either the horse or that particular race. And some poems include an end “note,” about someone associated with the race or about the horse’s continued career.

The blurb about the poet in the back of the book gives no evidence of his having written any other poetry but attests to his devotion to writing a poem for every Derby. It reveals that many of these poems are first hand accounts, though the earliest must have been researched.

As I mentioned at the start, there’s no good rationale for keeping this book except its oddball quality. Historical value or the horsey subject matter are also weak arguments since there is little horse racing in Alabama. It might get more interest in the young adult section since that age group is more likely to be fascinated with horses and horse racing.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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