The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems

The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems - Robert Hass

I'm glad I became acquainted with Hass' work. It showed me another aspect of poetry, another approach and type of voice, that can be found in the writing. It was a very warm and inviting kind of voice that drew me into all the poems and always did its best to keep my attention and offer something in return.

Hass noticeably loves nature. The references to plant and animal species, as well as geographical locations,is very dominant throughout the poems, in some sections more than others. Although there were many poems that I wasn't too keep on as a whole, it was individual images and metaphors that kept me slowly moving through this.

Many people commented on how they enjoyed the prose-like, lengthy poems, but for me those happened to be beyond my comfort zone, and many of the poems was so long and shifted from one point to another that I would sometimes either loose interest or, more often, lose focus of where Hass was trying to take me with his writing. This caused many poems to feel disjointed and lacking an overall sense of completeness. Of course there were some exceptions where I read the whole poem, regardless of length, and enjoyed it and was moved by it, but many didn't succeed in doing so.

These poems are for the older and more mature poetry reader. They don't experiment as much as younger poetry writers will. For some, this may come across as a bit conservative. I, for one, enjoyed the strong voice and crisp writing, feeling that I was being guided through by a poet who knew what he was doing and where he wanted to take me. It was my own failure as a reader that prevented me from enjoying this book, as the poems offer so much. I'll give it some more time. Perhaps my tastes will change. As of right now I still enjoyed the poems, but I feel that their true wonder and magnificence was slightly lost on me.