Monday, November 29, 2010

SARX, Poetry by Nancy A. Henry

Review of SARX, Poetry by Nancy A. Henry, Moon Pie Press, Westbrook, Maine, 2010, 127 pages,, $11.

Review by Barbara Bialick

To begin with I want to apologize to the author, in that I did not read SARX cover to cover as I ordinarily would. She is a sensual, lightly erotic poet who can turn good phrases, but there’s simply too much of this collection to go around. Sarx, which apparently means “flesh” in Greek, means not only lovers loving, but nature naturing. Here are some examples that I enjoyed:

“Husband came spinning and sparkling/out of the brilliant powder of the earth,/his magnificent reason full of glory.” (“A Genesis”)

“These brainy types,/listen to them dissect our souls/they don’t need God/they need more pricey booze” (“Undergrad Waitress Serves Faculty Cocktails”)

“In midsummer, the turtles would stage/their silent siege, heads like dried prunes/just beyond the razor weed…” (“In Midsummer”)

“I am waiting/for you to seep into me/the liquefied silver permeating/all these fractures/in the hard brittle glass of myself/till your shining grace spiders/through every vein,/rings every cell./…I am waiting Lord/step here/into this gray dusty room/make every dust mote sing/and bloom.” (“Noon Prayer”)

According to George Wallace on the back of the book, “Sarx is a book of poems that is, at its core, reverential of its subjects, whether they are sensuous, funny or sacred or mundane; a praise poem to that which is flawless, but also to ‘the erotic power of flaws.’ Once again Nancy Henry gives voice to a heart that swallows things whole. These are poems to cherish, as one might an ‘Ironic secret…this tenderness nearly unbearable.’”

To her credit, Henry lists around 50 known and little known journals these poems were previously published in. She teaches English and humanities courses at Central Maine Community College, Thomas College and University of Southern Maine. She’s published two previous full-length collections of poetry and several chapbooks.

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