“The Swing Girl” is a collection of poems by Katherine Soniat. As a whole, the poems have a Mediterranean feel and call to mind the frailty of life and the abrupt effect of war on daily life. Not all of the poems are violent; many call to mind snippets of day-to-day life or recollect mythology.
One of the issues that I always have with collections of poems or short stories is that the individual pieces tend to be hit or miss. This collection was no different. Many of the poems didn’t strike me as being particularly memorable, but at the same time, others were spectacular.
I particularly liked Day Spool, which recollected the sound of wind chimes. I was also a fan of The Cathedral of Chartres, which describes a wedding from a gargoyle’s perspective. Brocade gave me new perspectives on tornadoes with its vivid imagery of items picked up along it’s path. Garden Smiles, which describes sitting in a museum cafe, reminded me of afternoons spent at the Hermitage or the Russian Museum when I studied abroad. The Forest describes the narrator selling her car (somewhat sarcastically).
As a whole, I enjoyed this collection. I don’t read nearly enough poetry, but I’m hoping to make reviews of poetry collections a more regular part of my blog.