Elevate Difference

Did I Wake You?

In her book Did I Wake You?, Beth Lapides gives a modern spin to the 5-7-5 syllable pattern of the Japanese poetry form of haiku. Instead of the usual traditional haiku topics of nature, describing cherry blossoms or rivers flowing to the sea, Lapides uses these morsels of poetry to get to the heart of chic, cosmopolitan life.

For topics, these poems sift through the substrate of a modern woman's experience, touching on love, politics, shopping and friendship. The modern language couples nicely with the formal structure to create humor, surprises and moments of sharp insight, especially when the poems touch on politics. The haiku are peppered with hyper-current references to things like Sephora, MySpace and the Mars Rover, which draw the reader in and remind us of the common cultural space we occupy. If you never imagined that you could laugh with and be intrigued by a book of poetry, now is the time to reconsider. At times boisterous and sometimes subtle and probing, Did I Wake You? offers the author's inner monologue as she experiences situations and relationships that all women will be able to identify with.

Overall, Did I Wake You? is a great book to buy to enjoy for yourself or to give as a gift. It would be a fun departure for those already interested in poetry, as well as an enticing lure for those reluctant to pick up a book of verse. Beth Lapides has produced a great, lively collection of poetry full of playfulness and pitch-perfect perception of modern living.

Written by: Dominae Petrosini, April 16th 2007

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