Thursday, December 06, 2007
Selected Poetry of Susie D by Susie Davidson
Selected Poetry of Susie D
By Susie Davidson
40 page chapbook at $5
Ibbetson Street Press
25 School Street
Somerville MA 02143
Review by Laurel Johnson
Susie Davidson is an award winning poet, writer, journalist, and social activist. Her credentials are impressive. Between the glossy covers of this chapbook, readers will find the meat and marrow of her life and work. Whether free verse, prose style, or iambic pentameter, this poetry shines. Consider, for example, this excerpt from “For Sorrow or Verse:”
to rewind the pastures of billowing sunsets
to frame the experience tearing through stone
we walk ever bent upon burnishing sadness
toward the cool daybreak, the pain echoes low
“Six Million Souls” is an exercise in rhyming verse. Few poets can rhyme and communicate their message in effective, focused style. Ms. Davidson accomplishes both with apparent ease:
Six million souls are the soul of us all,
the darkest of ages, humanity’s fall.
Children and innocents tortured and killed,
Six million visions and dreams unfulfilled.
Herded like cattle, stripped of all worth,
hungry and sick in the dregs of the earth,
parents and siblings shot down in full sight,
boxcars of bodies transported at night.
“Barred in Bosnia” recalls the attempts of Croatian women to block U.N. convoys providing aide to Muslim infants. Why would any woman anywhere deny food and health care to a child, regardless of creed or nationality? The answer is ages old -- hatred and consuming grief:
How could such horror exist in this day
Where countrymen feud in eternal dissent,
With dry milk and baby food weapons and ploys,
Where conflicts unveil genocidal intent?
Ms. Davidson has traveled to places most of us will never see. These travels are documented by a skilled wordsmith in the “Travel Poems.” I quote “Jerusalem” which was the first of sixteen exceptional poems:
repentance lines this path, desert wind tugs tired
heartstrings and o! such a blip in eternity is life
in this holy ground in this time in time
like so many grains of this sacred sand
are we and always will be here now here always
in a word shalom.
The poems in this not-for-profit chapbook are from It’s Only Life: Rhythmic Forays into Life and Human Nature (1992); After Gary (1994); and a new work. If you aren’t familiar with Susie Davidson’s work, this chapbook would be an ideal introduction. If you enjoy rich poetry, fertile with meaning, Ms. Davidson will not disappoint.
Review by Laurel Johnson Laurel Johnson is a book reviewer for the Midwest Book Review.