Words from Within, a book of verse and photographs on slick, 8.5” x 11” pages, celebrates eclectic moments of joy and extends sympathy to those suffering from the adversities and injustices of this world.
Writing in free verse with some rhyme and repetition, Baldari’s poems are divided into seasons – winter, spring, summer, autumn – though they seem to have little relevance to those headings. In them, she acknowledges, from a Christian point of view, victims of war and natural disasters, those homeless, ill, alienated and lonely, aged, and dying. The pieces vary in tone and intent. “It’s Herbie 2,” for example, is to be read for fun, a delight perhaps for children, as “It toots its horn to any car/ that tries to pass it./. . . And it’s ever so cute!/ . . .Part of our family for the past forty years . . .” By contrast, “The Fan” might be read as a metaphor for life as it tells the experience of a rock concert, a complex environment where, “Is it terror or excitement?/ Who can tell? You just join in.” Most pages lament the loss of the past and the passing of the present.
Though Baldari’s intentions are commendable and her stated sentiments of the human heart are familiar, the verse fails to command an emotional connection with the purpose of coming to new perspective, insight, and meaning for the lives we live. The author’s work now and then yields to a beauty of living in and for the moment, yet is, overall, sentimental, obscure, and at times judgmental. Lack of specificity and curiosity weigh on Baldari’s intent. The work is wanting in fresh imagery depicting unique situations set in time and place with singular characters that would better involve readers in the immediacies of the sorrows and contentments in life. Note: the book has a number of typographical errors.
Also available in hardcover.