Cider Press Review, 2021
Poetry; 80 pgs
Passiflora is a collection of poems about our day-to-day struggles with loss, raising children, relationships, aging and creating art, and how the nature that surrounds us informs how we view these challenges and sometimes serves as a source of solace. [Goodreads Summary]
I initially was drawn to this collection of poetry based on the description, particularly about parenting, aging and seeing how the author weaves it with the nature around us. I always find it challenging to review poetry. It is so much about feeling--how the poems make me feel. And how I relate to them. I suppose it is the same with a novel too, but it's different somehow. Poetry is much more personal. Capturing a moment or thought in time. Kathy Davis's poetry does that in her collection Passiflora. Whether writing about adoption, a woman's thoughts as she wanders through an art exhibit, cancer, or loss among a myriad of other topics, Kathy Davis deftly entwines each of her poems with nature, whether animals or plants. In her poem, "Starlings", for example, the poet combines the imagery of nature, birds, with that of suicide and loss, and of secrets, mixed with the every day action of setting a table.
[...] The cacophony of songa hellish choir, each bird's tune slightly offfrom the rest. It's been years since I've been back,the lies elaborate and smart, the silence [excerpt from "Starlings" by Kathy Davis]
Then there is the poem "Weeding" in which the narrator worries, in my mind about a her child, as she weeds. I love the imagery:
Wire grass, insidiousspreads the bed eveningprimrose in the spirea He should havecalled by now pigweed sprouting herethere a deep breath take it clovertiny shoots beneath the juniper [excerpt from "Weeding" by Kathy Davis]
Along with the more serious, there is a bit of humor in the collection too. I enjoyed the poem "The Shetland". Although not a librarian myself, I can relate to feeling the weight of everything one's job may entail. Amidst all that, imagine this scenario:
Would the library like a pony? A lady at the front deskhas brought one in. [excerpt from "The Shetland" by Kathy Davis]
"April & the Affront of Spring" was extremely moving, touching on the topic of death, particularly of the young. I also really liked "With a Delicate Flicker of a Fan" about growing old and illness. I could go on and on, but I would rather you read Passiflora and see for yourself just how beautiful this collection is.
© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.