Talking Pillow by Angela Ball a professor of English at the Southern University of Mississippi, takes the poetry reader on a contemporary ride arounda block of modern subjects represented in both literal and figurative images.
Published by the University of Pittsburg Press in their Pitt Poetry Series, this 55-page soft cover tome offers reflections on universal themes such as love, loss, death hope and grief.
The poems are divided into three sections: Lady of the House, FBI Story, and Bicycle Story. The sections are thematic. In Lady of the House, the focus of the poems is on relationships and the myriad subjects that make them. In FBI Story the theme switches to discovery and realization using contemporary images that are both representative and logical. In the section, The Bicycle Story, the reader rides with the narrator through locales, timelines passing through remembrance and grief.
In the lead poem in the first section, Society for Ladies of the House. the situation is set in an ambulance ride to the hospital and the desire for the patient’s recovery The surprise ending is sweet but not sentimental and shows how love transcends every day minutiae to survive and make one recognize how glorious love is. After the trip to the hospital, the last lines show the true purpose:.
The narrator says you cannot touch anything without water. I like the perception of death during An Attempt, and the stillness represented by the bee caught trying but left unmoving. It is a visible image in nature that asks the reader to understand action projected and action paused…probably without warning. The last lines speak of the bee dust in the flower and the sad realization that the “we” of the poem will still not be any closer.
In The Bicycle Story, two poems attracted me: Lots of Swearing at the Fairgrounds, and Intercourse after Death Presents Special Difficulties.
The comment on confined spaces obscuring the beauty of nature is subtle but clear.
The lines that struck me in Intercourse After Death Presents Special Difficulties, beside the title, involve a congeal visit to the after life. Ball handles the desire without sentimentality but with intensity and possibility. .
For those who have lost a lover or a loved one, Ball suggest that there is shame in the need to touch and be touched by the lost one and how the narrator of the poem deals with the reality and perception
The book is a pleasure in its direct simplicity as well as its subtlety.
You can find the book here:
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 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 with her husband, Attilio, in Mount Laurel, NJ.