Whistling Wind is a book of nature poems and other ruminative verses. Interspersed throughout are the poet’s illustrations of trees and natural landscapes, which echo the wistful and reflective mood of the surrounding poems.
The collection begins with a multi-page haiku sequence followed by a confusing Preface that seems to reference a past honor bestowed on author Eva J Blohm’s haikus. It then offers a series of untitled and unrhymed lineated verses. Content ranges from meditations on time and memory (“The winds carry songs/ of childhood […] songs which we will always remember”) to considerations of art and music (“I look at the Mona Lisa/ and am intrigued”). Much of the imagery comes from the natural world (“moss on rocks/ turns gray to green/ as seasons change”).
Blohm’s writing is strongest when grounded in concrete details: the particular people, places, and things of this world. Some promising examples are: “yellow full moon/ drivers weave in and out/ of their lanes/ angry cab driver/ fails to listen”; “falling rain/ eight sets of hands/ play country gardens,” and “the woman/ bowls well the first time.”
Unfortunately, her poems often detour into abstractions that ultimately disrupt readers’ emotional experience with broad, cerebral thoughts that fail to engage the senses, such as: “we have goals to make and keep” or “Life is perpetual motion.” Similarly, Blohm’s speaker drifts between an “I” who recollects vivid, interesting personal experiences (“Mother sliced mushrooms/ and I ate the fungus”) and a “we” who describes more universal experiences. In general, the personal reflections are much more sensuous and engaging because of their particularity and inclusion of narrative elements.
Readers will find some poignant moments in this collection, which often evokes a stirring sense of both the losses and insights that come with the passage of time. However, the work would be greatly enhanced by more first-person, singular poems that depict particularities, rather than testifying to universal truths through abstraction.
Also available in hardcover.