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Reviewed by Marie-Hélène Fasquel for Readers' Favorite
Podunk Moon: An Anthology, 2016-2003 by Erin Geil is a mind-blowing collection of poems. It consists of different parts, including Acknowledgments which expresses how much being loved and being supported in your dreams by your family and your friends makes creation and creativity possible. We often forget to thank those who have made our success possible and this text is deep as well as essential for readers. The Author’s Note gives the reader more information about the context of the poems: even this part is poetic! Erin states that poetry is made of our deep-felt emotions and of what we have been through in a very interesting, somewhat cynical and heartfelt dedication: “To those of you that I have loved and hated / you remain forever in these pages.” Last but not least, the poems recapture life as it is and life as it is dreamt of, and are followed by an excerpt from “The Great American”.
Podunk Moon by Erin Geil is a fabulous collection of poems which “talked” to my heart directly. I am used to reading poems, analyzing them with my students, and am delighted to have discovered Erin. (I teach American literature and am always on the lookout for new poets and new American writers generally speaking.) Indeed, the poems are deep, clever, and help you ponder what life is all about. What else? I will give you two examples: I particularly appreciated “The Honey Snake” in which beauty, its vanity, its vacuity, life, and death are discussed: “She smiled pretty / And it cost / Her a night / In a room / With the moon / At her back, / And the light / Adding depth that / She did not have.” Understatements, allusions, and rhymes all make this stanza stand out and make it even more powerful. I also selected “I Know” as an illustration of what I mean: “Although I promised / To try to forget / Your face / […] I do recall it. / And now / There you are, / A solid wall / A concrete thing […].” This poem encapsulates everything poetry is about, which is (to me, at the very least) the unsaid, the loss and difficulty to let go, the emotions and feelings transcribed into words and so much more which you will have to discover for yourself… otherwise where would the fun be?