Day observes the world, finds connections between things, explores invisible currents that influence life like environmental issues, the social, and the geo-political. Many of her poems highlight the incongruences that we face each day like observing the beauty of our planet and at the same time its destruction.
The “message” in these urgently tangible sensations – touch, sound, sight, smell – is conveyed in the titles of several of Whitacre’s concluding poems, “At the End of the Day,” Just Be,” and “Remember to Live.” It’s the same insistence Mary Oliver memorably emphasizes when she writes about this “one wild and precious life” that we live.
Ghost Poetry is a poetry collection that converts anguish and sadness into a creative power. There is suffering throughout the book, but the strength that underpins the pain is unmistakable, like a wild horse “burning unbridled inside the sky’s ceiling” exerting its will to live.
The poet aptly observes a ‘Bovine Heaven’. However, it also subtly indicates that such peaceful living is impossible for human beings, be it from a sociological or ecological perspective. It also sets off a train of thought where Earth is not left the same from one generation to the next.
We’re not taken through the streets of this city as much as we are taken on a tour of language. These poems are driven by sound, and a tone that lulls us until images catch, tumble open, or almost combust. Pace and momentum shape the collection, delivering softly-stated violence often inflicted by the natural world upon itself. In Still Life with Razor Blade, we see “night cut evening’s /throat to let the dark out.”
Jessen plays with language and meaning. She values the visual form: the spacing and arrangement of the words, phrases and sentences. The poems can be interpreted in many ways, and I am not surprised that the poet has won numerous awards.
Rambles is a passionately written and vivid collection for our times. Stylistically accessible and typographically varied, I am left with an abiding sense of the warmth and raw honesty of its writer and her unwavering compassion for those who are struggling. And perhaps we should not be surprised: that energy is, I feel, implicit in the cover of the collection, painted by the poet—a lively abstract depicting a swirl of soft blues, greens and yellows, as vigorous and warm as the words of Copello herself.
The collection is an eye opener, poems made in an environment of incarceration and punishment about life ‘Inside’. About jail, about being a prisoner and the fear and danger of prison life. Most of the poems are coruscating and angry and explore issues of life inside, of loss and anger, pleading for real justice and rehabilitation, often displaying a hard wisdom learnt at the hands of corrupt and cruel prison officers.
Letters to a Dead Man are not letters but prose and poetry about a forbidden love or if not forbidden unethical. This intense love is between a man and a woman is set in Pentridge Prison. Reading the poems it is difficult to decide who was the prisoner and who was the free person. I had my suspicions which were confirmed later.
No sentimentality is encountered in Beale poems as he writes about life’s wounds and death. Be Quiet About Love demonstrates a philosophy of life that leans towards acceptance and resignation, often he expresses profound thoughts.