Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bring Me Her Heart ( Higganum Hill Books 2006) Sarah Getty. – A Review by Juliana Bures

Sarah Getty’s upcoming collection of poetry, Bring Me Her Heart, to be published in May 2006 by Higganum Hill Books, is worthwhile investment for those looking to find a diverse voice deserving of an audience.

The collection is divided into four sections that exemplifies Getty’s talent and range of thought, memory, fantasy, and most importantly, dedication. The most striking poems of the collection are those written about her mother, a woman whom Getty presents with both grace and poise, in connection to her own sense of wonderment and discovery at becoming an older woman along side her.

From the poem, “Initiation,” where Getty recounts the reversal of roles, of being her mother’s child in addition to the woman who visits the assisted living facility, are the lines “This month I complete my sixtieth-year./Helped by no goddess’s spell, I am two-in-one, mourning child/disguised as an old woman.” Or from “Last Words,” Getty addresses the confusion of aging, of mother to daughter to granddaughter. “Sometimes she confuses/the two of us, daughter and granddaughter, or blends us into one small, dark-haired, over-educated girl.”

There is simplicity to Getty’s observations and a respect of the dual aging process encountered during her mother’s illness. Her resiliency becomes it’s own entity, in that she doesn’t forget who she is or who her mother was, ever. The poem “Obituary,” provides the small, mundane pieces of her mother that, no doubt, made her a messy human being like all the rest. From the subtitled section, “Worries,” is the statement, “That her daughters would betray her by getting married/before they got pregnant.”

Other strengths of Getty’s writing make their mark in this collection as well. Her ability to observe and make note of the current human condition compared to what it once was, has its own place, “…we new worldings, empirical, informed/up to our eyebrows, with five hundred more years/spent observing our own and one another’s/bodies…Well, we carry on.” Her nod to “what’s all been said before” makes the poem, “The Earth is Saying,” a strong force to be reckoned with. “Gepetto in the Belly of the Dogfish,” “Lewis Carroll’s Last Photograph of Alice Liddell,” and “Trio From an Imaginary Opera,” are all fanatically fantastic poems with their own element of creativity.

Sarah Getty’s poetry is worth getting to know because it makes you want to know yourself, your mind, your imagination, and the world around you better. She seems to echo Mary Oliver’s sentiment, “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” Indeed, Getty pays attention to everything and she wants you to know it.
Ibbetson Update//Juliana Bures//January, 2006

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