Posted by Nat Bernstein
It’s already February, and with a certain day dedicated to romance on the greeting card calendar falling over a weekend this year, the pressure is on, for many, to curate a truly stellar activity or expression of love for those dear to them. Fortunately, there’s still time to prepare.
It’s hard to go wrong with poetry — I take that back: it’s hard to go wrong with good poetry. And if you’re not sure how to identify it yourself (or brave enough to try composing your own), might I suggest:
If you think poetry is cliché, you haven’t encountered the verses selected by the writers, actors, translators, and song writers included in Anthony Holden and Ben Holden’s dual anthologies. Poems That Make Grown Men Cry came out last spring; the companion, Poems That Make Grown Women Cry, follows this April from Simon & Schuster. Discover the poems that reliably reduce 100 women — including Ellena Ferrante, Francine Prose, Nikki Giovanni, Judi Dench, Yoko Ono, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Janet Suzman, Ruth Ozeki, and Ursula K. Le Guin — to tears: everything from the Romantic poets to Rumi to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Gwendolyn Brooks to Jang Jin-Sun.
There’s much to admire in the simplicity of both book covers, but I’m especially enamored by the typography gracing the forthcoming sequel. There’s something reminiscent of a worn paperback novel inherited from one’s mother in the filigreed Art Deco typeface, nearly-gold lettering simultaneously bold and wispy against a solid white background.
- Nat Bernstein: Spicing Children’s Literature with Jewish Humor and Jewish Life
- Visiting Scribe Essays on Poetry
- Leigh Stein: The Diarist
Nat Bernstein is the former Manager of Digital Content & Media, JBC Network Coordinator, and Contributing Editor at the Jewish Book Council and a graduate of Hampshire College.