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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
A poetry collection filled with color and beauty, Calming the Wilderness by Annemarie Marek explores important themes while bringing out the magical moments in ordinary experiences spent in nature. The collection begins with “Lost Ship,” a poem that moves from themes of desperation and brokenness to leaving the past behind and moving forward. In the second poem, “I Have Always Loved a Rose,” the narrator marvels at the tenacity of a rose, which though does it not bloom, continues to grow. In “Scaled Quail,” another poem in the collection, the narrator is amazed at the presence and beauty of a Gambel’s quail, whose singing enlivens the harsh wilderness. Other poems are equally enthralling while a few such as “Calming the Wilderness” divert from the common themes in the collection to explore the narrator’s background.
Annemarie Marek’s Calming the Wilderness utilizes color such as in the poem “Sketches,” filled with different shades of color that represent different themes. Red represents strength. Softer colors like lavender make the painting light while green brings out the backdrop. In the poem “Yellow,” the color represents happiness. The different colors that appear in the collection evoke emotion and imagination. Personification is also used to explore important themes such as in the poem “A Congress of Crows,” in which a group of crows, ravens, magpies, and jays meet to discuss human encroachment. Question poems comprised of rhetorical questions are also used and they inspire thought such as in the poem “If I Were Blind in the Desert.” Calming the Wilderness is a captivating collection which lovers of nature and fans of poetry will enjoy.