Review of Summer Song

In stepping over the threshold into Linda Prather’s poetic universe, we enter into the Mystic’s realm of Blake’s, “world in a grain of sand,” Rumi’s “an early morning eye.” She knows the importance of observing the smallest creatures that animate our landscape and thereby make our own seemingly mundane lives, extraordinary.

More often than not, her poems are meditations on the cosmic mysteries of Nature, particularly evidenced in “Summer, Ghosts, and Apparitions,” or prayers prompting us to practice mindfulness, to abandon our chaotic rush into the maelstrom that constitutes life in the day-to-day. Having happened across her phrase “solitudinal synapse” in “Just Kicking Around,” I wish to cultivate that state of calm more routinely. As a consequence of her insight, I embrace Prather’s necessity for quietude when she notes “Silence might render something,/ cause information or an entity to squeeze past/ a tiny aperture to the other side.”

I also resonate with her poem, “Summer Moon,” where she states, “Wish I had titles for the birds,/ gave names to each voice…./ my need like Adam’s, to know the word.” As poets we long to categorize, to “own” what our eyes light upon. Perhaps that is a reflection of our “divine, creative synapse”?

Prather references God with some frequency and acknowledges His desire for someone to meet His gaze, though we typically attempt to hide from it. That said, Prather decisively declares she “baptizes” her thoughts in water, coexists “with dryness, heat, and thorn,” going so far as to take pleasure in it because she serves, Yaweh, a desert God.

In “Values,” my favorite poem of the collection, SUMMER SONG, I clearly see the way in which Linda Prather’s work bestows upon us her steadfast search for purposefulness and wisdom reverently tended as well as her astute perceptions of the transitoriness of our collective journey.

— Calder Lowe, Editor of Dragonfly Press