Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Poetic Response to Jessie Carty’s Paper House

A Poetic Response to Jessie Carty’s Paper House
Folded Word, 2010, 90 pages, $12
ISBN: 9780977816743

I have written reviews of each of Jessie Carty’s first two collections of poetry, At the A & P Meridiem (Pudding House, 2009) and The Wait of Atom (Folded Word, 2009), so when her new collection, Paper House, came out a couple of months ago, I knew I’d read it, I knew I’d like it, and I knew I wanted to do something besides write another review about it. I had no idea what that something might be, but then almost as soon as I started reading the poems, it became clear to me that Carty had given me a metaphor that I simply couldn’t resist stealing. So, in lieu of review of what is, by the way, a very enjoyable book of poems, I offer the following “reflection” along with my sincerest encouragement for you to order your copy of Paper House now.

Paper House
after Jessie Carty

What is a poem but a paper house,
every word a window or door,
the title a welcome mat,
every image a family portrait,
photo album, or home movie,
an endless possibility of rooms
furnished with the finest internal
rhyme, alliteration, conceit,
illuminated by epiphany,
kept clean through catharsis,
the only walls the printed page,
inhabited by people you know, family,
old friends, some you’ve missed,
some you hoped you’d forget.


  1. A great first book by an up-and-coming talent. We'll hear a lot more from Jessie Carty.

  2. Irresistible metaphor, in part because it leads to so many others, and because it is of itself so true. Of course, this comment is the result of Scott's poem. Now I'll have to read the book that inspired them.