Chapbook by Carol Farnsworth
DLD Books, 2021
Carol divided her first published chapbook into a readable and logical Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring format.
All- together, her collection features thirty-four poems.
Nature is the star as Carol writes her way through an entire year-long journey.
In her opening section, Summer, she presents the reader with four haiku poems . (page 11). All are on one page but each could stand alone on a separate page quite well. The opening poem is “Dandelions.” She presents this flower to us and it feels almost like I could reach out and touch the flower in her hand. Also the presentation of this haiku is elegant.
gathered in my youth
In “Benediction,” the poet sits on her porch and listens to the sounds that surround her. I wonder just what kind of bird she is hearing and what insect is making the morning music.
The chorus swells.
My coffee cools as the rising sun warms my cheeks.
I smile at this morning benediction.
In “Fall” section I admire the poet’s eye for more prolonged focuses on the specific object. Here, despite personal vision challenges, Carol sees the Sumac tree with keen awareness. Intuition is in partnership with her senses. The reader is given a treat in the careful formatting of this poem uncluttered by punctuation and capitalization. The poems are clean, and spare, exactly as they should be.
Two of the three poems on this page show awareness and magic of creating a pure form when writing exquisite Japanese haiku.
“Sumac” is the opening poem of the “Fall” section, and carol brings clarity and appreciation of the beauty of this tree in the autumn season and this magnificent fall tree. The Sumac is my favorite tree in the late fall when it is a blazing scarlet-red color.
This poem gets a standing ovation! What a way to begin this section.
In Carol’s “Winter” section, the poem “Alone with Myself” feels private, solitary, and meditative. This poem is carefully crafted and moves the reader through the experiences of being alone on a wintry slope and the anticipation of skiing. This poem is the highlight of the collection – it is a gem.
As we come to the final section, “Spring,” there is a feeling of reflection and a look back that compares events and situations in her life. Spring can be a season of new beginnings.
“Reflections” brings the reader into Carol’s work, past and present, in a way that is so specific and personal as she examines her thoughts from before and after her sight loss.
Memory of the visual world changes with age,
Reforming like a deck of shuffled cards…
I take a card to see what memory is on top…
That story is my new reality.
“I recommend this chapbook, Leaf Memories, for gifting during the upcoming holiday season. The poems are appropriate for readers with at least an 8th grade education in English, recommended Grammarly.
I think the title of the book is perfect. Each season is presented through the poems of Carol Farnsworth. I will also add that there are a number of black and white photo illustrations in this book, and on the cover, that are by Carol’s husband, John. These are ‘icing on the cake’ – a delicious serving of poetry and photography.”
~Lynda McKinney Lambert
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You may also like to visit Abbie Johnson Taylor’s blog to read another review on Leaf Memories – Read it here!