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Book Log

Book Log #29: Prismatica: Science Fiction Poetry Spanning the Spectrum, by Elizabeth Barrette

Prismatica: Science Fiction Poetry Spanning the Spectrum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Prismatica is the other of Elizabeth Barrette’s poetry collections I’ve read this year, and of the two, this is the one I prefer. Since I’m not a regular reader of poetry, this collection’s being SF-themed made it quite a bit more accessible to me than the other collection, From Nature’s Patient Hands.

As with the other collection, I found in general that Ms. Barrette had a lovely way with a word. Several of the poems in this collection stood out for me as examples of what I always want a poem to do–i.e., take a concept and coalesce it into a few short lines of verse. Moreover, the concepts in question were excellent SF-themed ones.

There are too many poems here for me to talk about them all, but some of my favorites included:

“One Ship Tall” – The opening poem in the collection, about FTL flight

“Star Orphan” – About the finding of a single young survivor on the ruin of an alien planet

“Resolutions” – About the path of a woman’s lifelong determination to reach the stars

“lush rain” – About a rainstorm not quite what you might expect

“From ‘Aliens’ to ‘Zooming'” – An alphabetical exploration of a clever alien emissary to Earth

“Crib Notes” – A pithy little suggestion about why, exactly, we haven’t had any confirmed alien visits to Earth yet

So all in all, not my normal reading, but nice to have explored nonetheless. If you like SF-themed poetry, you should check this out. Four stars.

Book Log

Book Log #28: From Nature’s Patient Hands, by Elizabeth Barrette

From Nature's Patient Hands

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Poetry is not normally something I go out of my way to read, but when I was given an opportunity by the author, I was quite happy to take a look at Elizabeth Barrette’s poetry collection From Nature’s Patient Hands. I’m enough of a word geek to appreciate the various forms of verse, whether rhymed or free, and Barrette shows her grasp of many forms of verse in her work.

I actually prefered her other collection, the SF-themed Prismatica, but there’s some lovely imagery in this one as well. There are too many individual poems in this collection for me to address them all in this review, but I did like the opening “Spring’s Air Force”, as well as “Inconsiderate Drivers”, “Thunderfist” (I quite liked the line ‘the sky holds a fistful of light’), “Waterlight”, “Ecological Dyslexia” (and especially the lines ‘This land is not illiterate / We simply cannot read’), and more.

So if you like poetry, and nature-themed poetry in particular, you should check this out. Four stars.