Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When you care enough to give the very best poetry.

I ran into this book in the basement of Moe's this evening, while looking for something else:

It's the Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems, edited by Donald Hall. (I was underwhelmed by the table of contents, honestly.)

This is the hilarious thing that caught my eye:

There's literally a gold star on it indicating that the book is poet-laureate-approved.

I guess it's like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, or the Oprah's Book Club seal, only less well known. This particular kind of call on expertise belongs to a consumer logic. Eight out of ten dentists recommend.

The volume is edited by a nationally famous poet, and just in case a nationally famous poet isn't famous enough, here are his credentials. You wouldn't want to get screwed on a bad volume of poetry. It would be like buying a bad toaster, the kind that always either under-toasts or burns the bread. You can't be expected to have researched poetry, just like you can't be expected to be an expert on toasters; that's why Consumer Reports, and gold poet laureate stickers, exist. To save you, the consumer, the labor of finding out more than you really need to know about poetry. I mean, who has time to compare all the stats, right? You just want a book that does the job.

To close, some wholly unrelated words of wisdom, courtesy of Google Ads:

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