Official Review: Ball of String by Glenn K. Currie

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Ball of String by Glenn K. Currie

Post by Cecilia_L »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Ball of String" by Glenn K. Currie.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Ball of String is an eclectic collection of poems and photographs by Glenn K. Currie. Beginning with the title poem and through a range of topics, such as individuality, love, acceptance, homelessness, music, the Vietnam War, divorce, death, sorrow, trust, family, and friendship, it explores the recurring theme of how we are simultaneously connected and pulled apart in the "current social culture." Currie notes that this sixth published poetry volume will likely be his last.

The book is 113 pages and can easily be read in one sitting. However, it shouldn't be rushed, as it is one to reread and contemplate. The words that come to mind to describe Currie's collection are eclectic, eloquent, and evocative; I will also add exceptionally edited to my unintentional alliteration. What sets this volume apart from other poetry books is Currie's writing style and consistent use of punctuation. His consistency is refreshing and in no way hinders his creative voice. Instead, his manner of musing is approachable and invites the reader to ponder his reflections, such as the following stanza from "Charleston Tears":

"Words are spoken slowly,
Rolling off the tongue
Like sweet cocktails,
Buried in ice and umbrellas."

"How Old Men Grow Wise" is a humorous reflection on aging. In "Best Friends Forever," Currie shares his thoughts on the popular acronym, social media "friendships," and true friends. "Accommodations" is a reflection on a bird nesting in Currie's garage. It may be my favorite; I have had annual nesting tenants near my backdoor for the last several years.

The accompanying photographs further enhance Currie's poetry, and I particularly like the contemplative captions. They provide thought-provoking introductions to the poems and are poetic on their own. For instance, the caption for the image of a tunnel-like covered bridge featuring the proverbial burst of light at the end reads, "Winter comes to all of us. Sometimes it rides in on a white horse accompanied by an Artic wind. Sometimes it builds black ice beneath us and takes us before we realize we are gone." I also appreciate Currie's use of figurative language; snow initially "seduces you" but becomes the guest who "stays too long."

There isn't anything I dislike about the book, but I have one suggestion for improvement; I would like to see the inclusion of more information related to Currie's photography. On the copyright page, he mentions that all of the photographs are taken by him except for his image on the author page. He includes his website, and although it is visually appealing, informative, and easy to navigate, the photography isn't mentioned. Perhaps Currie considers it more of a hobby, but as much as I appreciate his poems, my curiosity is also piqued by the photographs. Likely, other readers may also appreciate a few more details about the locations, events, and subjects of his photography.

It is my pleasure to rate Ball of Strings 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this outstanding collection to fans of poetry, and its eclectic nature will appeal to both seasoned readers and those recently introduced to the genre. It contains no profanity.

******
Ball of String
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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley »

If I'm going to read a book of poetry, I want it to be eclectic as this is. The photographs would be helpful, too. Still, as I'm sure you've seen me say by now, poetry isn't my thing. Thanks, though.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kperm »

Usually, I don't enjoy poetry, but your review convinced me to give this book a try. I'm very excited to read it.

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Post by Rasec15 »

This book came at just the right time for me. I am a middle school teacher and we are currently working on poetry. This book is a sequel to A Boy’s First Diary.
I want to make my opinion of this book clear from the very beginning. I absolutely love this book! It is laugh out loud hilarious. The topics of his poems can be understood by middle school students. Some of the topics might not be for the sensitive or immature sixth graders. The poems don’t rhyme which will appeal to students who are trying to learn to write poetry. They are narratives and read like short stories.

The author writes from the perspective of a teenager. His principal and teachers have nicknames. In his poem Pimples, Currie ends the poem with the following stanza:
“Everything is harder in seventh grade.
You get too many teachers,
A lot of mean kids and too much homework.
And then you get pimples.”

I thought about it and read this one to my sixth graders. They agreed with the poem and told me that it seemed like once you hit middle school things slid down hill real fast. I think the author really speaks the language of the middle school student.

The poems are definitely told from a male perspective. I believe this is one way to get guys to read. The poems are definitely from a different time period. In his poem “Talking about Girls”, he talks about trying to get a date for the dance. He is referring to a “sock hop”.

For me one of the most hilarious things is when he is talking about a topic, usually “mens truation” and he has asked his dad and others what it is and they don’t tell him and his reply is, I don’t think he knows either”. He defines parents as getting old and forgetting things when they hit the age of 30. I can sit back and laugh because I know some of my students see adults this way. It is a reminder of the way I used to think about things at that age. This is definitely a must read book.

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Post by Cecilia_L »

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
07 Dec 2019, 17:57
If I'm going to read a book of poetry, I want it to be eclectic as this is. The photographs would be helpful, too. Still, as I'm sure you've seen me say by now, poetry isn't my thing. Thanks, though.
I understand. Thanks for your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L »

kperm wrote: ↑
07 Dec 2019, 19:54
Usually, I don't enjoy poetry, but your review convinced me to give this book a try. I'm very excited to read it.
I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Posts: 4443
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Currently Reading:
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Post by Cecilia_L »

Rasec15 wrote: ↑
08 Dec 2019, 10:09
This book came at just the right time for me. I am a middle school teacher and we are currently working on poetry. This book is a sequel to A Boy’s First Diary.
I want to make my opinion of this book clear from the very beginning. I absolutely love this book! It is laugh out loud hilarious. The topics of his poems can be understood by middle school students. Some of the topics might not be for the sensitive or immature sixth graders. The poems don’t rhyme which will appeal to students who are trying to learn to write poetry. They are narratives and read like short stories.

The author writes from the perspective of a teenager. His principal and teachers have nicknames. In his poem Pimples, Currie ends the poem with the following stanza:
“Everything is harder in seventh grade.
You get too many teachers,
A lot of mean kids and too much homework.
And then you get pimples.”

I thought about it and read this one to my sixth graders. They agreed with the poem and told me that it seemed like once you hit middle school things slid down hill real fast. I think the author really speaks the language of the middle school student.

The poems are definitely told from a male perspective. I believe this is one way to get guys to read. The poems are definitely from a different time period. In his poem “Talking about Girls”, he talks about trying to get a date for the dance. He is referring to a “sock hop”.

For me one of the most hilarious things is when he is talking about a topic, usually “mens truation” and he has asked his dad and others what it is and they don’t tell him and his reply is, I don’t think he knows either”. He defines parents as getting old and forgetting things when they hit the age of 30. I can sit back and laugh because I know some of my students see adults this way. It is a reminder of the way I used to think about things at that age. This is definitely a must read book.
I love the poem you shared--how perfect for your students! Thanks for the info and recommendation.

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Post by Infinite I »

The topics on which the author has written these poems are all of my interest. I will definitely give this book a try.

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