Crozier sometimes finds nature in surprising things. She says, of “Key I”, “perhaps it is not a key but a long-thoraxed praying mantis about to grow legs and walk away.” Of Key II, she writes: “Is it called skeleton because it unlocks the mystery of bones?” Here “nature” is human nature, the human mind’s ability to free associate and make connections.
The photographs presented here also portray the multiple dimensions and complexity of life. Every photo has a unique message to convey which is picked up on by the poet as she explores the sensations, feelings, hopes and struggles reflected in the images. Urban Reflections is a unique collaboration – beautifully presented and deeply meaningful.
Many of Sarai’s lines have the declarative emphasis of aphorisms. “Easier to make an enemy than beef Wellington” begins the poem, “Call Me Sheena.” “Tenderness isn’t necessary but there it is / like a chemical we write to Congress about,” she writes in “Not Simple Is Joy nor Cosmology.” “Wedding planners are a food group,” she writes in “A Scarlet Moss,” “So is roast beef.”
The Grace of Distance has an immediate appeal with a parabola of terse phrases and expressions turning into maxims. The poems of the first section have a wider spectrum of portraying the human emotions, drawing upon the spiritual wanderings through the labyrinths of one’s mind or hint of rebirth or reincarnation of human souls, as propounded by Lord Buddha.
Bringing together 2 cultural forms of good luck exemplifies some of the more fun poems in the collection. Various puns and cross-stitchings of image and implication make the collection surprisingly wide-ranging.
As Catlin himself notes, Asylum Garden “is a book about seeing: what we see and how we see it.” Like his previous volumes, Wild Beauty and American Odyssey, Catlin’s poems here are inspired by artists and photographers. Blue Velvet and Hollyweird, two other recent collections, similarly find inspiration in grade B movies.
Richness of character and content run throughout the collection. These represents the author’s wealth of resources and display her thoughtfulness resulting from inward reflection, along with her ability to define external scenes surrounding her.
The poems in this section express deep feelings for nature as is characteristic of the genre. The sensory details and expressive language in this section are enhanced with striking imagery and in some of them, deep emotions.
Recipe for Garum is an unusual book: very well written and entertaining. Reading it is a quiet pleasure.
Put the idea of reading this book of poetry cover to cover to bed. For the reader to have control over direction but not the journey’s destination makes Lindsey Warren’s inventive debut collection, Unfinished Child, read like real life. But moving through the poems also parallels a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.
The homely, everyday objects of our lives that we take for granted become iconic signposts, saturated with meaning, as time unspools. “My childhood was a safe, dark pocket. Now, nothing feels like my childhood djd.”