Poetry: Book Annotation 5

The Wild Party: The Lost Classic by Joseph Moncure March rediscovered and illustrated by Art Spiegelman

My father’s friend, a lonely bachelor at the time, used to come over to our house with a bottle of liquor for my dad, something sweet for my mom, and a stack of books for me. Everything from Scott’s Original Miscellany to a fresh copy of Brave New World. After gifting me with Maus, which I fell in love with completely, he brought me The Wild Party.

Simply put, it’s an epic poem about a 1920s party, illustrated in Spiegelman’s graphic novel style. But it’s so much more than that. A long forgotten poem that Spiegelman pulled off of a dusty shelf and breathed life into again.

I read it at least once a year. It resonates with me so much, though I’m hard pressed to explain why. That first verse always hooks me:

“Queenie was a blonde, and her age stood still,

and she danced twice a day in vaudeville. ”

An hour later, I’ve devoured every word and picture, and I’m left wanting something else. The older I get, the more than “something else” is usually a gin cocktail and a quiet corner.

I can’t break this up the way I did the other annotations. I can’t find some buzzwords to communicate its appeal, and I sure as hell can’t think of a single thing out there that could be called a “read alike”. NoveList was at a loss, and so am I.

Just read it and weep.


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