Simple reflections on life’s varied moments.
In her note to the reader, Wiser states that she has always felt the need to write the â€œoccasional poem,” a fitting description for these gentle musings on pet deaths, the change of seasons, a trip to the doctor, grandchildren, etc. She also notes that these poems were not initially intended for publication and were only recently extracted from the shoebox that had been their home–many will be glad they made it to the printed page. While Wiser’s verse is far from provocative, or particularly artful, these lines are refreshingly devoid of artifice or pretension. Composed across decades of the poet’s life, the poems are grouped here under the headings â€œMusings,” â€œYouth,” â€œFamily and Friends,” â€œDespair,” â€œChange,” â€œLove” and â€œLater Years”–a structure that underscores a recurrent theme explicitly spelled out in â€œA Dried Arrangement”: â€œEach stage of life is different. / With beauty all its own[.]” If there’s a consistent longing expressed in these short iambic lines, it’s for life’s ever-elusive balance between order and randomness, most compellingly explored in â€œSisyphus on a Wire,” where the speaker hopes for a future punctuated with â€œsweet uncertainty.” Also particularly powerful is â€œCave Fish,” a brief but evocative challenge to the reader to appreciate the five senses and the instinctual feeling of life, presented through the lens of a blind fish, who also has â€œ[a] genetic kind of longing / For sparkling sunlight splashing[.]”
A pleasant collection.