"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, January 28, 2023


I Hope This Finds You Well is a collection of erasure poems by Kate Baer. Oddly, when I thought to request the e-book from the library, I actually held the audiobook. Now normally, listening to a poet read her poems is a nice experience, but erasure poems must be seen, don't they? I did love the experience of listening to Kate Baer read from her book, though. 

I Hope This Finds You Well is a poetry book Kate Baer never intended to write. What was her inspiration? Well, it was critical (read: mean-spirited) comments made on her instagram account. "The first erasure poem was made on a whim" said Kate Baer. "I was scrolling my inbox after the horrific murder of George Floyd, when I came across a message from a woman who disagreed with my stance on police reform." As her hand hovered over the delete button, she said that suddenly the words rearranged themselves into a poem. After taking a screen shot she used of the erasure tool, hid her identity and posted the poem along side the critical comment. Her fans loved it. Apparently Baer is not the only person alive who has had to contend with nasty, mean-spirited comments on their social media accounts.

I was completely charmed by all these erasure poems. In the audio format, Kate first read the comment aloud, some were very sweet and heartwarming but most were mean and judgmental. Then she read out her short poem. Each one not only erased words from the original but also erased the mean-spirit. When read together they often delivered a bit of a zing.

Here is one of those initial critical comments

And here is the poem made from it. Notice the placement of the words compared to the original.

The audiobook was only 50 minutes long so I imagine the print version is fairly short. This time when I make a request from the library, I will request the actual print version. It shouldn't take me too much time to 'reread' it. 

Rating: 5 stars


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