I REALLY WANT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF: Poems by Former Drug Addicts by Lee Bennett & Sunna Rasch -- Eds. Hopkins

I REALLY WANT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF: Poems by Former Drug Addicts

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Written by inmates in the Samaritan Upstate (New York) Drug Center, these poems share the immediacy of street language (though a few are surprisingly formal) and the passionate involvement of young people who are going through big changes. Of course, literary merit varies considerably, and some of the best are also the most rebellious (a speculation of the meaning of ""Mother!"" -- ""I think the people that spout the land of the free and the home of the brave are mothers"" and ""Apocalypse"" -- ""Snow is the revolution in a child's eye/ Planning is not real/ Trying is losing""). A more common theme -- so common one wonders whether it was suggested by Rasch, the group's teacher -- is the yearning ""for a lot of things to be/ But most of all I wish/ To be accepted/ for ME."" To a degree, acceptance here depends on identification and empathy (and despite the drug experience framework, the concerns are the familiar ones of late adolescence). But the bulk of this work is good enough to communicate on its own terms -- to say something to the poets' peers out there in ""society.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1974
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Nelson