I would feel remiss to not post a book review of a poetry collection during National Poetry Month, so that gave me the perfect excuse to read Denise Baer’s collection Sipping a Mix of Verse. Denise deftly writes poetry as well as prose. I first encountered her work by reading and reviewing her psychological thriller Net Switch. From there, I quickly gravitated toward her blog, and can now count her among my online friends.
What strikes me the most about the poems in this collection are how accessible they are to everyday readers, and yet how expertly the poet manages to pull-off verse that gets better with each reading. The title of the collection is indeed fitting because these are poems worth savoring. A topical arrangement makes for an enjoyable reading ramble, as do the photos here and there from Denise’s travels.
Poetry should sing with emotion and ideas, and Denise Bear manages to marry those two skills eloquently. As a fellow poetry lover (and sometime poet) I would have liked her to include short blurbs that point out the poetic from each selection takes, but that is a minor wish from someone like myself who feels more inspired to write poetry since reading Denise’s collection as well as the poems she has been posting regularly this month on her blog.
While many of the poems are uplifting, funny, and reflective, some are also darkly probing, honest, yet also hopeful. Such is the subject matter of most literature I find myself drawn to. A few of my favorites included “DAsh,” “Bucket List,” and “Failure.” Could it be that when I read many of these poems I feel like I am looking at thought patterns which echo my own?
I will leave you with the final stanza from her poem “Bucket List.”
Essential part of life in order to progress
to next stage. Must let go of past offenses
so energy taken up by such regret can be
applied to strengths.
Forgiving gives opportunity for healing
from past—looking forward to the future.
Liberated for achievement—guilt washed away
after years of love
You can connect with Denise and her various social media accounts via her blog Skipping Stones Memories.
What items would be on your bucket list poem? In what ways has poetry crept into your life during National Poetry Month?