by Cecilia Llompart
Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I loved the way the way the poems are laid out in this book. There are 4 parts: Hymnal, Almanac, Wherever We Roam and Take My Body Home.
The first part of the book contained many lines that I found thought-provoking and beautiful, but there was no one poem in the Hymnal section that really stood out to me as a whole. In other words, they would have great starts, but as they went on, I’d get lost with where it was going.
Part II, Almanac, was much more enjoyable. Llompart includes a poem for every month of the year. Each one takes us on a splendid journey of the seasons. The imagery is so vivid, it feels the words themselves are alive. The parts that follow were equally enjoyable. I found myself bookmarking more and more poems the further I read.
Wherever We Roam starts with a poem titled Eight Buffalo. The poems that follow countdown with different animals: Seven Wolves, Six Owls, Five Horses, etc. These poems were fun and deep all at the same time. It reminded me of the musings of a traveler on a safari, observing different animals along the way and trying to make sense of them.
Overall, these poems live up to what I expect out of a poetry book: Deep, intelligent, thought-provoking, and capable of painting stunning imagery.
The only reason I gave it a 3.5 rather than 4 stars is because, as I mentioned earlier, I had a bit of difficulty getting the full feel of the first few poems in the book. It’s a very quick read, at only 63 pages, but it is well worth it.
from Blessed Are the Wingless
Blessed are the wingless, for their bones
are not hollow but heavy with want.
March is rabbit-eyed, homesick
for the bramble and its drupelet fruit.
Winter is already a lost shape, forgotten
in the ground. Instead here is Spring
with all the grace of a woman
smoothing her apron. And the sun,
a yellow-breasted bird perched on
one of the many shoulders of the sky.
For want of a pot, I packed soil into
an old boot. Now the rosemary grows
yearlong. I dreamed it was a beard
on your face, that it flowered at a kiss.
August carries a flute of bees,
drums up the heat. I have seen
a crow consider a heap of straw
with more sense than I have
considered entire days. Seen an old
dog care for a roll in the grass
More than it cared for this thing
called dignity. Even a few
misplaced seeds have grown taller
than I’ll grow. What of me is worthy
even to sit in the red shade of an oak
and its desire to touch at more sky?
from Seven Wolves
That one wolf would alone
have the hankering for the lean girl
in red that entered the woods
is the naïve version of the story.
We know these hungry creatures come
in their packs…
The years nest
Not without claws,
a little scratching.