Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And the Birds Still Fly by Pam Rosenblatt

And the Birds Still Fly
Pam Rosenblatt
Eden Waters Press

REVIEW BY Renee Schwiesow

“And the Birds Still Fly” is Pam Rosenblatt’s second book of poetry. Her first book, “On How to Read The Manual,” was published by Ibbetson Press. I heard Pam Rosenblatt read from “On How to Read The Manual” several years ago in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The soft-spoken photographer/poet brings her words lightly to our ears, where they linger in a whisper that remains with us.

Rosenblatt, a member of the legendary Somerville Bagel Bards, will no doubt be offering us more in the way of spoken word as she continues to promote “And the Birds Still Fly.” Kathleen Spivack has called these poems “original an innovative.” Indeed, Rosenblatt’s layout is original and innovative leading the eye along a path as if each word were a lyrical morsel for us to follow until we’ve reached the ending notes of the poems.

sun yellow bird
with rapid, stirring wings
hovers, drinks
lilac’s nectar.

The work sings us a score filled with nature. Rosenblatt pays tribute not only to the birds, but also to the squirrels, raccoons, even the insects get a poetic nod:

A six-legged insect constructs
a translucent home –

Then she juxtaposes nature against the manmade in the work “In Her Dining Room,”

Varnished green purple red grapes
push against each other falling over
the chubby chipped red-hued apple and
two portly peeling lime-colored pears all tucked
inside the dark wood bowl. . .

the difference between all that lives and grows and the inanimate palpable through the end two lines

. . .fruit too hard to consume.
Scene easy to photograph.

Rosenblatt’s photographer’s eye is evident in the observations she makes throughout “And the Birds Still Fly.” It is an eye that offers us a picture of each object she has chosen to witness and bring to life before the reader’s eyes.

She gazes out the window again,
the cumulus have somehow connected,
turned gray. Thunder rolls with
a sharp strike of white-yellow across
the smoke-hued sky.

Yes, we have that picture and a bonus in sound.

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