Sharon’s Poems of Life, Love and Liberty

Sharon Wiegand

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 144 Price: (paperback) $13.95 ISBN: 9781426992865 Reviewed: January, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

Poetry is often written out of the common experiences many of us share: marriage and work, faith and fear, love and sorrow. Sharon Wiegand’s poetry collection is concerned with just these things – bittersweet memories of her mother and abusive father, of one bad marriage and another enduring marriage, of children and grandchildren, of debilitating depression and the saving grace of belief.

Writing in bare, unvarnished language, Wiegand tells us of her “dominating father” who “took away (her) childhood.” What followed were “years of despair” that finally led to a suicide attempt and her recovery through love and commitment to those around her.

Daily life, of course, can often seem artless and awkward, as in the “Morning Blues” when “It is a quarter to five, / My body is tired, / I’m waiting in bed / To hear the clock buzz.” But the ledger is balanced with the small appreciations Wiegand discovers in the world at her fingertips: “My friend the blue jay / Is sitting on a tree branch / Taking in sunlight.”

Unfortunately, there is not enough here that rises to a level of engaging imagery and narrative. Near the end of the book, Weigand’s “What Poetry Means To Me,” seems to explain what is problematic with the writing here. The author states that writing her thoughts down ““takes away the frustration I feel / And gives me a look at myself.” In these poems, “The feelings that I cannot openly express… / Are brought to the surface by words.”

This approach is wholly admirable as an act of self-healing and therapy, but it does not necessarily make true poetry. Too often, the language is vague, flat, abstract. What is needed is a sharpening of detail, a reaching into the memory pool for the concrete particulars. In this way, the author will give greater depth and meaning to her own experience – and to the reader’s experience of the poem, as well.

Author's Current Residence
Banning, California
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