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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Life is a collection of mementos, souvenirs of a time spent on earth, alive and living life to its fullest. These mementos define who we are, or, at least, who we were, and are cherished by those loved ones left behind when we pass on. Words and images also bring together the power of connectivity, the bond of love, the sorrow of loss, for, after all, art and poetry merge together with eloquence. Time is fleeting and our time on this earth passes far too quickly. Though we may regret a short time on earth, it is our loved ones left behind who grieve when we pass on: “time is not enough/ of anything to bring me/ the source of peace that is/ currently required.” And that is our story – life: “mere words on tape/ rarely cement together/ the distance between/ finite/ and/ forever/ but we have discovered/ a tether to bind us together/ buried in a deep-rooted tree/ and called it/ your story.”
Inga Buccella’s chapbook, Mementos: Seasons in Verse, is a collection of poignant poems reflecting on the seasons of life as they parallel the seasons of the year. Free verse, narrative poems, and a few rhyming poems, this collection speaks of the depths of our feelings for those we have loved and lost, for a life well lived and what is left behind. Some of the emotions expressed are raw, others reflective, but each poem uses words as a painter uses a paintbrush, creating a work of art in verse. The underlying themes of love and loss, of sorrow and memories, are thoroughly expressed, not just in lengthy metaphorical dissertations, but also in a shorter form like a brief expository. One short 4-line poem called “land line” expresses so much in only a few words: "between heaven and earth/ are dreams/ made from memories/ of you and me.” These are mementos – what we treasure, what we cherish, to remember those we loved. Life is hard work; life is also full of grief and sorrow. But, life is also full of joy and, in our memories and mementos, there is much to eternally bind us to those who have left this world to a higher realm of existence. Beautiful. Powerful. Thought-provoking. Reflective.