Date Published: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Rating: 4 out of 5
Publisher’s Book Summary: From one of the most inventive and celebrated filmmakers of the twentieth century, and co-creator of such classics as Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit, a collection of poems that offers humor and insight into an artist who has always pushed the boundaries of his craft.
Ethan Coen's screenplays have surprised and delighted international audiences with their hilarious vision and bizarrely profound understanding of human nature. This eccentric genius is revealed again in The Day the World Ends, a remarkable range of poems that are as funny, ribald, provocative, raw, and often touching as the brilliant films that have made the Coen brothers cult legends.
My Thoughts: I used to read poetry pretty regularly but it’s been years since I’ve spent any serious time on poetry. When I received an email offering me the opportunity to review The Day the World Ends by Ethan Coen I said yes almost immediately because the author is one half of the amazing Coen brothers filmmakers. I know very little about either Coen brother other than the movies they’re associated with such as Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Raising Arizona and Barton Fink. But that’s all I need to know. Based on these movies, many which are on my list of favorites, I think Ethan Coen (and Joel, too!) has a terrific, quirky sense of humor, understands dark, black humor, is very intelligent and also eccentric, is good at reading and understanding people and has experienced good and bad in life which he draws on for his work. I was very interested to read Ethan’s poems for these reasons and curious what he’d write about in his poems.
I thought The Day the World Ends had many wonderful poems. I’ve read many of the poems more than once and, I admit, I have a few pages of poems left to read because I’ve been enjoying this book so much and not rushing through it. In this book no two poems are alike and differ in almost every possible aspect. The subject matter varies greatly and anything is fair game. There are poems about birth, death, aging, relationships, love, sheep, bugs, regrets, therapy, poetry, cards, the English language and so much more. The length of the poems also varies from a few short lines to several pages. Some of Coen’s poems are sweet or poignant, some are angry or disappointed, a few are elegant and melodic, others very funny and some, such as ‘Limericks’ are written with very colorful language and I found very amusing! I enjoyed not knowing what to expect of the next poem. Several poems made me laugh out loud and several were very thought-provoking.
I highly recommend this book but caution anyone who is offended by cursing and harsh language. Thank you to Jonathan Lazzara at Crown Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this book.