Here are my book reviews for 2011.
Here are my book reviews for 2012.
Here are my book reviews for 2013.
Impertinent Poems is a lovely collection of poetry from Edmund Vance Cooke. In case you left your dictionary at home, “impertinent” implies someone is a bit brash and out of line, so you might almost think that these poems are a bit cheeky.
And they are. Sort of.
Cooke does poke and prod his readers to take a good, long, honest look in the mirror in a way that’s almost too pointed. But then you realize that his finger is pointed squarely at his own reflection in the mirror, and we are almost listening in as he talks to himself.
Some of the poems are fun, some make you laugh, some seem a bit out of date (remember: these poems were written nearly 100 years ago), but all of them will make you think. And that is the beauty of well-written poetry.
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there—that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight—and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die? —Edmund Vance Cooke