Monday, December 14, 2015
Review of True Affections: Poems from a Small Town
True Affections: Poems from a Small Town
by Elizabeth W. Garber
Illuminated Sea Press $15.00 (paper)
Elizabeth Garber, the former Belfast (Maine) poet laureate and Stonecoast MFA graduate, writes with the accuracy of the acupuncture she also practices. She portrays people living their lives at home in Maine, although sometimes in and around visitors, with a sense of the day to day elevated to the more universal. Her poem “The Tow Truck Driver’s Story” comes to us in the voice of the tow truck driver himself who tells of the time he got up after only one hour’s sleep to answer an emergency call. He endures three hours of dangerous driving to an address described as Appleton Ridge “Then a man in, I kid you not, a red / satin smoking jacket comes out and waves. / I think he is waving at me, and wave back, but it’s a garage door opener and out of the dark / a door rises, lit like a museum, / a car, glittering white and chrome beauty, / it was a 1954 Mercedes.” The driver asks if the man in the smoking jacket is going to take it out. “Oh, no, we just got back from Jamaica / I want a jump to make sure it’s ok.” The book includes local tastes, too, with “Ode to Cider” and “Ode to Rhubarb”. “Oh rhubarb, Spring’s tart sourpuss, too often / insulted . . . .” Garber’s colloquial style makes the poems easy to read, and yet, they all convey a greater insight into the value of the seemingly mundane.
Posted by Ellie O'Leary at 3:03 PM