By Lynette G. Esposito
She Has Visions by Carla Sarett is a slim volume published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Charlotte, North Carolina. Sarett, in fifty-two pages, skillfully presents poems that engage the reader to question time,
place and situation, often using women and women’s viewpoints.
The poem, The Chess Game (circa 1555) on page twelve, uses a chess game to determine sisters’ futures or perceived futures. In six stanzas, the situation is made clear through multi viewpoints.
Minerva’s defeat is not so grave.
After all, she has been vanquished
by her equal, her sister,
and painted by her sister
who will become painter
to the Spanish Court in Madrid.
Lucia, the oldest, has won handily.
She sees her future boundaries,
a nobleman’s wife, perhaps.
The poem changes tone and becomes less hopeful in the next three stanzas as the baby sister and the old maid servant offer their observations. The baby sister sees her satin-clad sisters in a perfumed garden and the older maid servant observes….how the garden walls narrow, how soon the gates close after the game of chess. The view of this particular garden image from an innocent child and an older, experienced observer vary
dramatically especially in a time where women’s opportunities were so limited and where the innocent see hope and the experienced see a reality.
In the poem She Has Visions on page thirty, Sarett explores a narrator going to a sewing circle although she does not sew but sees, perhaps, the execution of what others create from their visions. The poem in seven stanzas suggests what sewers create from their memories and the possible meanings of these creations.
And I saw my friend’s visions.
buttons planted in gardens, strewn across lawns,
along the highway in San Francisco,
silver threads lining streets, under footsteps,
under bodies of half-dead men who wake
bound by silver threads.
She has a nice light touch with her imagery that gives the reader a chance to contemplate and think about a sewing circle with so much history.
The poem I Am In My Afterlife on page forty- nine is a four-stanza complaint poem about reaching into one’s future and finding it is as predicted. Sarett opens with:
Your predictions of the future,
the plague, the crashes, yes, all of those
have come to pass,
as all racing toward me, as
if I were the
As in previous poems, Sarett has a light touch that gives the reader room to interpret. However, after listing a few more examples of what has come to pass, she pulls the poem’s meaning together and the reader is given the surprising meaning to the poem.
What I crave is
Sarett has taken the universal theme of the desire to know the future and twisted it into
perhaps the idea of knowing is not so great or fulfilling.
The tome is an interesting read. In some poems, I was left with the desire to want more almost as if the poems were not quite complete. One has to be careful with the punctuation in these poems. It is meticulous and meaningful.
Lynette G. Esposito has been an Adjunct Professor at Rowan University, Burlington County and Camden County Colleges. She has taught creative writing and conducted workshops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Esposito holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois and an MA in Creative Writing and English Literature from Rutgers University. Her articles have appeared in the national publication, Teaching for Success; regionally in South Jersey Magazine, SJ Magazine. Delaware Valley Magazine, and her essays have appeared in Reader’s Digest and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her poetry has appeared in US1, SRN Review, The Fox Chase Review, Bindweed Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, That Literary Review, The Remembered Arts Journal, and other literary magazines. She has critiqued poetry for local and regional writer’s conferences and served as a panelist and speaker at local and national writer’s conferences. She lives in Mount Laurel, NJ
She Has Visions is available from www.MainStreetRag.com.