Tuesday, March 4, 2014

India's Love Lyrics: Mini-Review

So....India's Love Lyrics by Laurence Hope ("collected and arranged" by) are not Indian poems collected by Hope, nor is Laurence Hope really a man. What India's Love Lyrics is...is a collection of appallingly bad poetry written by Adela Florence Nicolson which she tried to convince readers were translations of various Eastern poets. Before I realized that these were original poems by a British writer, I was ascribing the poor lyrical quality to a bad translation.  But, honest, nothing was lost in the translation. All the poor imagery, forced rhyme and rhythm are authentic and right there in their original language--unfortunately. Wikipedia tells me that Nicolson was "one of the most popular romantic poets of the Victorian and Edwardian eras." How very interesting that I never came across her poetry in any of my college courses....

I picked this book up long ago and far away (1989!) at my beloved Mason's Rare & Used Bookstore in Wabash. I thought it made a nice addition to my vintage bookshelf (and it does look rather nice sitting there on the shelf)...but it certainly has added very little to my poetic repertoire. I can say with great confidence that I will not be quoting Nicolson the next time I am looking for just the right poetic verse for an occasion.  One star.

 

2 comments:

fredamans said...

Being a poet I am still very intrigued. I'd love to check out a prose or two, as poetry is often interpreted differently. Great review!

LuAnn Braley said...

My 11th grade English teacher said that for every good line of poetry you write, you will write one incredibly bad line as well. Maybe Nicholson has some good stuff lying around somewhere, or maybe she is the balance for other poets.