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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“An idea moves through the brain faster than/ the fingers can write it down, but the stories still come all the same.” It’s a sentiment shared by writers everywhere. Writing, the written word, is an art form that demands our complete and utter devotion. And, when the idea sparks, there’s nothing else we can do but write. It might be an idea about lightning, the surge of power which strikes in jagged sparks. But perhaps the lightning isn’t the one that comes with nature’s ferocious storms, but the lightning that sparks a surge of emotions when you meet that someone special. Then lightning becomes a metaphor. Or perhaps it is both metaphor and reality, the duality of each word’s intending meaning. “The feeling electrified the air between us/ and for a moment/ I didn’t hear the thunder/ or the rain./ All I saw was you/ and me/ and the lightning.” We writers are good at making similes and metaphors work for our expressive purposes, of using the multiple possible meanings of words to create a powerful impact on the reader.
Katie M. Marshall’s chapbook collection of poems, The Writer, creates a panoramic view of her vision of life and the written word. Using free verse and, as in the case of the poem called “Lightning”, a clever concrete poem where the layout of each stanza creates an abstract vision of a bolt of lightning, the poet explores multiple themes and topics that inspire her creativity. The chapbook is divided into two parts, each part beginning with a poem specifically on writing and the writer, then is followed by poems that are inspired by different themes in life: relationships, love, living, and so much more. A fascinating collection of inspired poetry.