The Poetry of Louisa May Alcott | Book Review

The Poetry of Louisa May Alcott is an anthology of more than 100 poems from the renowned author many of us celebrate for Little Women, which I have reviewed in the past. This anthology was sent to me by Libris in exchange for a review. Louisa May Alcott is obviously one of my favourite classic authors and I love her work; however, I didn’t fall in love with this collection of poems she published over the course of her life. While there are still quite a few pieces I enjoyed reading and I cherish, I have to admit that Alcott was a better novelist than she was a poet.

Writing poetry is one of my favourite things to do, but I have to confess reading poetry wasn’t a thing I did regularly before. However, 2022 is the year of changes – and on a macro scale not for the good -, which implies reading more poetry and doing some sort of “research” for upcoming projects. I’ve been meaning to read Louisa May Alcott’s poetry as I adored her other works and I finally managed to do so; however, it didn’t turn out as I expected. The first couple of poems are fabulous – they have a very homely feeling and are ideal for an autumn night, but other than that the whole anthology was quite repetitive. Most poems imply natural elements and lots of scenery, while others tend to focus on supernatural creatures, and I didn’t necessarily fancy the latter ones, despite having an educational dimension – morals and punishment for not following the said morals. Many other pieces are stories ranging over a multitude of pages, which I didn’t enjoy reading as they seemed to be the same thing with slight differences – mainly regarding characters or life circumstances. Regardless, there are quite a few poems I loved, mainly found in the first 50 pages as the rest of the book tends to be a pile of reused metaphors and similar words.

Obviously, it is important to acknowledge that the anthology comprises poems written in different time periods across her career, which is precisely why the themes are the same, but approached from a different perspective. Regardless of the repetitiveness, one must admit that her poetry has a fine rhythm and tempo (which is mainly modified through punctuation), which is rather rare with more modern poetry. I found Alcott’s poems on her feelings towards nature and seasons quite comforting and cozy, ideal for a quite evening, which is why I rated the anthology with three stars.  

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Title: The Poetry of Louisa May Alcott
Author: Louisa May Alcott
Publication Date: 2020
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Format: Paperback|208 pages

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