An Incomplete Encyclopedia
of Happiness
and Unhappiness

by Amy Newman
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Newman's poem moved me. It was finely felt. Thank you, Amy, for reaching to the depths.

"An Incomplete Encyclopedia . . ." is of those poems one wishes one had written. Deeply moving and well-constructed.

This poem is almost unbelievable in its many achievements and varying visions. You glimpse happiness, feel and believe in it, before being taken down to those painful, intrusive moments of unhappiness to which we can all relate. Although the other's experiences are disconnected from one's own (the Father's fear of a swan, for example, is not the same swan which I'd place in my incomplete encyclopedia of happiness). However, those missing pieces from a shared, sad history fills an aching, empty unhappiness. Ultimately, "An Incomplete Encyclopedia . . ." pulls through as a testament to undeniable happiness.

What a recognition of the joy and pain we all can acknowledge, but often bury along our pathways. Beautifully written in lovely, flowing lines. Thank you for this!

The poem's correlation between an intangible idea like happiness and the decidedly rigid structure of an encyclopedia is ingenious.

Newman draws the reader in by making the poem personal. The way she weaves the story of the anonymous editor gently gains our sympathy until he becomes our best friend, our tireless hero, and our guardian angel. Excellent.