A Cartload of Scrolls by James P. Lenfestey - Review & Giveaway

Sunday, 9 March 2008, 23:09 | Category : Book Review and Giveaway
Tags : ,

A Cartload of Scrolls by James P. Lenfestey is not your average book of poetry. Whether you consider yourself an avid or reluctant reader of poetry, you’ll find great joy in discovering Lenfestey’s eight-line verses crafted after the style of ancient Chinese poet Han-Shan. How do I know this book will please even the reluctants? My sixth grade teacher, that’s how I know.

Before the sixth grade, I loved poems, albeit the ones written for children. I loved the rhythms, the word choices, the stories they told. But Mrs. Script changed all of that with a torturous school year of poetry memorization and recitation, sometimes in front of the class, other times in front of the entire school. Not enjoyable for one self-conscious little girl who sat in the back of the class. I thus became a “reluctant” when it came to poetry.

And so my thanks goes out to James P. Lenfestey, who has put me to poetry rights once again. I was immediately drawn to his collection of 100 poems and knew I had to review it. Maybe it was the premise of the book - Lenfestey’s love for Han-Shan’s 1,200-year-old work, driving him to write over 30 years’ of poems in response. Or maybe it’s the everyday, relatable, and often humorous tone of these short gems, but I relished each one. With titles like “Yelling at Birds” and “To the Gnat Drowned in my Wine at Lunch,” how can I not help picking the book back up just to reread a favorite? Yes, this is friendly, accessible poetry that manages to convey everything from humor to beauty in just a few lines. This is poetry for everyone.

If you’re reading this review and thinking you’d like to have A Cartload of Scrolls, either for a gift or for what ails you, I’ve got an extra copy to give away. Just leave a comment telling me what intrigues you about the book, and a winner will be chosen at random on 12noon EST Wednesday, March 12, 2008. For even more ways to win and for contest rules, click here.

Published by Holy Cow! Press.

71 Comments for “A Cartload of Scrolls by James P. Lenfestey - Review & Giveaway”

  1. 1Louise A Brouillete

    This looks very interesting…I’d like to know more.

  2. 2Barbara

    I have fallen out of the habit of reading poetry. Children, life, moving, and all manner of things have gotten in the way of such simple pleasures. I think this is just the sort of book to give that small treat back to myself.

  3. 3Rebecca Lunsford

    What intrigues me is the use of the eight line verses crafted after the Chinese poet Han-Shan. I’d like to see how Lefenstey uses English in the Chinese style since the flow of words are significantly different.

  4. 4Joseph

    I’m intrigued by the titles of the poems. They offer such visual imagery.

  5. 5susan varney

    love to get lost in poetry

  6. 6Jennifer Barnett

    This sounds like a very different collection of poetry.

  7. 7djp

    love reading

  8. 8Natascha Fawthrop

    I love the style of ancient Chinese poet Han-Shan.

  9. 9Meredith Peters

    The title of some of the poems you mentioned intrigue me as well as the historical reflection of it.

  10. 10christopher h

    30 years of poems - wow

  11. 11Samantha Pruitt

    it sounds interesting how he crafted contemporary poems from ancient poem writing.

  12. 12Tara

    Oh I’m a poetry reluctant too… perhaps I should read this book!

  13. 13anne

    This collection of poems is unique and fascinating. When I was very young my mother gave me a book of poetry which I cherished. It is long gone and so is my mom but I still think about it.

  14. 14Matt Shoukry

    I would love to read this collection of poems!

  15. 15BB

    I’m not one to be interested in poetry, but your review has got me interested in finding out more of Lenfestey’s work. Thanks!

  16. 16Barbara Fredricks

    Writing poems has been an outlet for me since childhood and the book sounds fascinating. I’m an author (of one book only, not poetry), but it feels good to have that one out of my system.

  17. 17Lara Aleff

    I love reading poetry

  18. 18bethany canfield

    hehehe…I guess If I don’t ask I won’t receive right?? thanks for giving this one away!

    how do you have so many books?do you get them from publishers? how can i get publishers to send me books…or is that a secret?
    that is a lot of questions.

  19. 19Cindi Hoppes

    Hi, First of all, I love the look of the cover. It looks like antiquity and the time of the poet Han-Shan. I clicked on your link and read about him. I would enjoy comparing the book’s poetry with his. Thanks for all of your marvelous reviews and book giveaways! I appreciate them…..Cindi

  20. 20Karrie

    this looks good

  21. 21stacey dempsey

    i wuld love a chance to read these poems everynight sincs my kids have been small and they are now preteen we have read together and still do now the books are just more adult we are just getting into history and poetry so thies book would be a wonderful edetion to our night time ritual

  22. 22Sylvia Porter

    i just love ancient poetry, it’s so full of wisdom that todays poetry is lacking, so it’ll be interesting to see new poetry structured the same way the ancient poetry is.

  23. 23kathy Scott

    My husband says that my reading adiction is breaking the bank.

  24. 24Nancy

    The fact that this book is a 30 year complilation of poetic response to works completed 1,200 years previously is quite intriguing.

  25. 25Jennifer

    My daughter is Chinese, and we try to maintain a big library on anything that might be interesting to us in the future. I’d love to read this now, and save it for her as she grows up.

  26. 26Amanda Funai

    My husband is Asian and I would love to introduce my son to Asian poetry. I think he would enjoy it - even if he is only 10 months.

  27. 27sarah

    I love poetry and I love Chinese culture! Can’t wait to read this!

  28. 28Pamela Hansen

    i love poems my grandfather used to write them for /about people

  29. 29Ginny

    I’ve always loved poetry & quotes. Plus my oldest daughter who hates to read, loves poetry. I know this book would be enjoyed by our family for years!

  30. 30Louis Huf

    enter me please, thank you for the contest

    love the selection of poems

  31. 31jesy

    Intereating idea

  32. 32Mike Weisberg

    this looks like it would be a good read

  33. 33Erica Brunt

    I love poetry and I’m always interested in poems I haven’t read.

  34. 34Megan

    I love poetry and am currently particularly interested in poetry that has been influenced by other cultures. I think this would be amazing to read and keep by the computer or on a nightstand to just flip through whenever you get a moment.
    Thank you very much for offering this great giveaway and exposing me to this book.

  35. 35Taryn S

    I’m not much of a poetry reader myself but I’d love to start!

  36. 36Kimberly B.

    This book intrigues me. I’m interested in seeing how a modern poet responds to work produced so long ago and far away. Thanks!

  37. 37Stacey M

    Poetry rocks.

  38. 38Megan

    Hey I posted already, #34. But I wanted to let you know that I also blogged about your contest.

  39. 39Angela

    I haven’t gotten a new poetry book in ages!!

    I blogged you on Prizeatron!



  41. 41Carla Cui

    The poetry in this novel really intrigues me.

  42. 42S

    sounds interesting

  43. 43Ed Nemmers

    I would like to read some poetry; I don’t think I have since college.

  44. 44Elizabeth

    I think it’s the slight humor in the poetry that is most appealing to me about this book.

  45. 45Phyllis Lamken

    I love poetry. Please include me.

  46. 46Cindy

    I love them short and sweet.

  47. 47Kathi

    Sounds wonderful!

  48. 48Bebemiqui

    A new way to do poetry, I like it! Great giveaway! Count me in. bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

  49. 49Leanne C.

    Life is Poetry!

  50. 50judy folk

    i am intrigued, not a big poetry lover but i think this book could change that…

  51. 51Kayce

    I think I would like this book because I am a reluctant poet.

  52. 52Elaine

    love poetry - would love the book!

  53. 53Caroline Morin

    I love poetry, but just can’t get into the classics. This seems to be right up my alley.

  54. 54veronica

    sounds like a great read

  55. 55donnas231

    By the two titles that you mention, this book sounds like something that I would really enjoy. I love all types of humor, and I would appreciate your consideration. Thanks

  56. 56Liz

    Very interesting!

  57. 57C Duran

    I have recently become more interested in poetry and would like to explore this book.

  58. 58Catrina Pomerleau

    I’m not a big fan of poetry, but I do love reading, so I’d love to give it a read.

  59. 59Ivan Girl

    i’ve always loved poetry.
    i used to compose them way back in my elementary years of schooling. :)

    poetry has a way of communicating and touching one’s very soul. i hope this book will also give everyone
    the chance to touch them. :)

    hope to snag a copy ‘coz it
    would be nice to have one. :)


    ps. i also subscribed to your blog feed. :)

  60. 60Joy Venters

    never owned a book of poetry - would love this

  61. 61Janet M

    looks like a great read.

  62. 62Kathleen Yohanna

    I love poetry. I would love to have a copy of this book.

  63. 63Charlene

    I love verse, and poetry is what
    continues to feed my soul.That
    is why I would be interested in
    this book.To me poetry is like
    pieces to the bigger puzzle and
    such is life

  64. 64Lily Kwan

    What intrigues me is that the poems are in the same style as that of an ancient Chinese poet.

  65. 65Irene Leung

    This seems very intriguing. I would love to read more about it.

  66. 66Tom Hoh

    Poetry gives me reasons to think

  67. 67kathy pease

    have not read it but would love to :)

  68. 68Buddy Garrett

    The author’s inspiration for the poems-the 1200 year old Chinese poet Han-Shan intrigues me. It would be interesting to see how a modern poet is influenced by writings of an ancient poet.

  69. 69melissa harner

    Thisi would a great reading piece! Thanks for the opportunity to enter!

  70. 70melissa harner

    this would be a great piece to read

  71. 71mark

    need to read

Leave a comment