Source: Poet Luanne Castle and Poetic Book Tours (my online tour company)
Paperback, 82 pages
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Doll God by Luanne Castle reflects on the passage of time and the impressions we leave behind. Imagine the dolls you or your sisters or friends had as children and how much they were loved and cared for … imagine the stories that were created for them and the lives they shared. Now, imagine what has become of those dolls, where are those talismans of hope and joy? Are they buried in an attic or a closet, were they left behind in a field to become so much detritus? Is that all they are?
from “Debris” (page 57)
And now, I can’t get the image
out of my mind:
dried paint chipping,
the spread of mold pockmarks,
velour paper edges fraying, canvas rips, a gradual
flaking into sand, then dust sifting down
to be layered over by debris
of another generation
always the shifting sand
like a dust storm
Castle asks these questions and more in her collection, seeking answers to how our pasts are shaping us even now and how those pasts have faded with the passage of time. From large toddler dolls to doll gods, Castle evokes an adult sensibility within a child-like wonder, and the anxiety that raises up in the verse is tangible, just as the fear of time passing too quickly can hit us when we least expect it. She causes us to reflect on our triumphs, our past joys and innocence, as well as to let it go into the ether to be rewritten by future generations.
This emotional collection will take a toll on its readers, but the journey will leave them changed in terms of perspective and renewed in that they will want to live more fully and enjoy each moment in the moment. Reading these poems once will reflect one meaning, but upon subsequent readings, the poems leave readers to ruminate on their own lives. Doll God by Luanne Castle is multi-layered, with bright spots in the darkness of loss. Castle has a wide range and more great things are sure to come from this poet.
About the Poet:
Luanne Castle has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside; Western Michigan University; and Stanford University. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in Barnstorm Journal, Grist, The Antigonish Review, Ducts, TAB, River Teeth, Lunch Ticket, Wisconsin Review, The MacGuffin, and other journals. She contributed to Twice-Told Children’s Tales: The Influence of Childhood Reading on Writers for Adults, edited by Betty Greenway. Luanne divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina. Follow her on Twitter.