Ode to Poet by Annika Andersson is a small collection of some eighteen poems that explores, among other things, the differing styles of poetry through history. From the Romantic Era (Late 18th-Mid 19th Century) she brings us “Springtime”, through Imagism of the 1920’s, with Brownies, Objectivists of the 1930’s with “Tuesday Morning” all the way through to the Language poets of the sixties and seventies, with “Lying” and finally New Formalism of the eighties and nineties with State of the Union. She also covers a number of other topics in her remaining ten poems, such as; “Breakfast, Thursday, Communication and Old Friends.”
The style of poet Annika Andersson in Ode to Poet is as varied as the words she places together. I found the contrasts between the differing periods of poetic history interesting, especially as a non-poet. I also enjoyed some of the prose-like poetry of some of the early works, such as; Breakfast, Thursday and Savannah. As with any compilation of work there are some that caught my eye and my heart more than others. Two poems, in particular really resonated with me; The first of these was “Old Friends” a tribute to Rudyard Kipling and Walt Whitman. The second poem that spoke to me was; “To The Daughters” which was presented in the style of the nineteen forties and fifties beat poetry, which explored the awakening of a woman’s style and conformity to fashion trends. I enjoyed this little book very much and wanted to read more of this poet – sadly, for me, this offering was way, way short of a full collection and left me feeling like I’d just settled into the rhythm and cadence of the lines when… suddenly it was all over. A little disappointing from that perspective and I would hope to read more in any future offerings from this talented poet.