Review: Rooted and Winged: Poems by Luanne Castle (Finishing Line Press, 2022)
This review is a WAY overdue. I follow Luanne Castle’s blog, and I liked her previous books of poetry, especially Kin Types. I think I was so afraid I wouldn’t do a good job that I kept putting off writing this review. I’m a master of procrastination sometimes.
Anyway, here goes.
(Full disclosure, I won the Rooted and Winged Writing Contest.)
Luanne Castle’s Rooted and Winged maps the terrain of memory and family. Castle takes us on a journey from Magpie Grill to Grandma’s lap; family myths take root, then fly with birds and get trapped in the darkness. Among the poems about family, “For an Adopted Child” stood out to me, as the mother while enjoying the present knows that one day the child will understand about “the missing.”
Readers are not given a map key. Castle’s poems are not the direct light of the noonday sun. Rather, they come at the reader like the light between slats and the shadows they cast, inviting us to take another look and wonder “where did that come from? Where is it going?”
I thought this light analogy sprang from my own mind, but then I went back to the poems and re-read them. In “The Freeze,” Castle writes, “My first memory of a poem was when a sunbeam angled just so.” And the first poem in the collection, “Tuesday Afternoon at Magpie’s Grill,” begins with the line, “Flickering afternoon light slatted and parsed.” Even the light questions and explores.
This a terrain I have often traveled in my own mind and work, which is why “I Started to Write a Poem about Packing” probably speaks to me so strongly, as it states, “A question isn’t for answering, but for asking.”
“No other question comes close to giving me a reason to go to work or run away.
How to handle a question that insinuates
Itself in every second of our lives?
Is beauty here? There? . . .”
In “Tuesday Afternoon at Magpie’s Grill,” Castle writes,
“No matter what I notice,
no matter what I record, I will never
capture the ease of wind-filled wings. . .”
However, in the book’s final poem, “After Darkness,” Castle writes, “We bring our efforts to the task.”
And really, what more can anyone ask for? I highly recommend this collection.
I know just what you mean about being afraid of writing a review that won’t do a book justice. It’s a heavy responsibility. In the case of this review, you needn’t have worried. It turned out beautifully. A big congratulations to Luanne!
Thank you so much, Liz. Big sigh of relief (and another thing checked off my list). Yes, congratulations to Luanne!
You’re welcome, Merril. 🙂
I love this review, Merril. Thank you so much!!! It is really illuminating (sorry for the pun) to see what someone else sees in the poems. xo
And I love the pic!
I thought you’d enjoy a cat photo. 😊
Nothing I love more than a book-reading kitty!
I’m so pleased you liked it, Luanne. Wishing you much success with it. 💙
And I agree about what others see.
A super review, Merril. Congratulations to Luanne
Thank you, John. Indeed, congratulations to Luanne!
It’s a wonderful collection.
Beautifully said, Merril.
Luanne is an excellent poet and a great supporter of other bloggers as I know from experience.
Merril, your review sings and certainly does the collection justice. But I know the sensation you acknowledge: “I was so afraid I wouldn’t do a good job that I kept putting off writing this review.” No worries in that department.
The cover is sensational! 😀
I agree about Luanne, and thank you for your kind words about the review, Marian!
The cover illustration is sensational. I have a tote bag with the image, too.
What a masterful review!
Thank you very much!
You brought justice and intrigue to the review and book Merril!
“they come at the reader like the light between slats and the shadows they cast, inviting us to take another look and wonder “where did that come from? Where is it going?”
Thank you so much, Cindy. 💙
You’re most welcome💞
I’d say this was well worth waiting for
Thank you very much, Derrick. 🙂
This sounds like a fine collection, Merril: thank you for the recommendation!
You’re welcome, Ingrid. It is!
I love it when a poet reviews another poet’s work. The review itself becomes poetry 🙂 Wonderfully done, Merril!
Thank you so much, Marie!
It is a beautiful collection!
What a gorgeous review!
I’m so pleased you thought so! It’s a wonderful collection.
It has gone to my “to read pile” which will never grow small…
A to-read pile should go on and on, I think, sort of like space.
Well… there are no worries. No chance it’ll ever shorten.
No chance here either! 😂
Haha! That’s a good thing!