THE CARLA KING COLLECTION by Sarah Wolters

THE CARLA KING COLLECTION

: A Voice from the Silent Generation
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Through verse, a member of the Silent Generation swings into the next century, questioning a rapidly changing world.

“I am not ready for the year 2000,” Wolters writes in her introduction, echoing the sentiments of a generation that aches to be heard. For the author, life has been a swift and massive unraveling of events. In her youth, the innocence of ice cream sodas, picnics and Bill Haley and the Comets helped to soften the fears of the Cold War. “Duty and social obligations” were a given, she writes. But today, in the post-9/11 world, American life is ruled by suspicion, and the younger generations have adopted computers as a means of escape. As she explains with irony, “Feelings are now public and preferred guides to decision-making...I have decided to add my voice to the public communication overload and hope the Silent Generation does not think me a traitor.” That voice–full of concern, bereavement, nostalgia and joy–expresses a roller coaster of emotion. While trying to make sense of the uncomfortably unknown, the author’s prose falls back on and celebrates an age and understanding where she felt more at home. As Wolters expresses in “Y2K Lamentation,” the once-trusted safety of American life has been shaken at its roots: “Why are these buildings burning? / Who is my friend? Who is my enemy? / More questions than answers. / Hail To The Chief.” Yet the uncertainty of the new millennium is buffered by her reliably optimistic world view (in “Piano Lady” she instructs, in a cutesey manner, “Wiggle those hips.../A smile on your lips!”). While new circumstances challenge the validity of traditional American values, the author observes that we adapt and carry on, albeit with occasional resistance. This verse can be unsophisticated and occasionally mawkwish, but Wolters is obviously on a quest for clarity, and has gathered much she wants to share.

Charming poetry about the everyday experience.

Pub Date: July 16th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4196-97029
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: