Source: The poet
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Remember the Sun: Poems of Nature and Inspiration by Melanie Simms, published by Sunbury Press, features poems and Lawrence Von Knorr’s photographs of Sunbury, Pa., and other local areas in the region. In many cases, the photographs give additional life to the poems in Simms’s volume, but in others it is unclear how the poems and the photos connect. Despite that, the photos are gorgeous, particularly the local shops and the pictures of the Susquehanna River. Simms’s poems are chock full of imagery from ghosts harkening back to the past journey of Edison to the shadow puppets on the walls, but her verse examines not only the natural world, but the relationships between mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, and lovers.
From "Mother's Ashes" (pg. 7) I love Emilio for driving the long way He doesn't have to do this. "She's your mother," he says. "We have to honor her spirit." (I'd kept her ashes for years in the cupboard in the kitchen). I don't want to let go. I wanted to wake up each morning, knowing some part of her remained.
Don’t we all want to keep a piece of our loved ones close, and we often very rarely realize how selfish that is. Is it better to honor their wishes or to keep them close? We all struggle with this dilemma at one point or another. Simms’s verse is historical and modern, and it is emotional and contemplative. There is something for every reader in this collection. Her collection also contains quite a few poems in which journeys are made — journeys to bury the dead, journeys away from and returning to loved ones, and journeys of emotion. When readers talk of place as a character in novels, there are moments like that in this collection as well, like in “Beauty and Magic at Barone,” about the Barone Beauty Academy in Sunbury.
From "The Suitcase" (pg. 3) I watch you leave, but as the evening falls I imagine you back in your chair. I imagine that you have only stepped out for an evening walk. How has it come to this? All our dreams packed away into one little suitcase and carried off so easily?
Remember the Sun: Poems of Nature and Inspiration by Melanie Simms is a satisfying collection of poems and photographs that breathe life into the activities of a small town. These people are no different than those that live in big cities; they still have dreams and big loves, and devastating losses.
About the Poet:
Melanie served as the Perry County Poet Laureate from 2005-2006 and has published in over 180 newspapers, magazines, and poetry journals; her poems have been featured on state and local television shows and over fifty poetry radio programs. She has been a featured artist at various Pennsylvania colleges, high schools, and landmarks including but not limited to National Poetry Month at the Degenstein Community Library with presentations by State Rep. Lynda Schlegel-Culver and Sunbury mayor David Persing. Her awards include a Sophie Award, Finalist in the Richard Savage Poetry Award (Bloomsburg University), Perry County Poet Laureate (2005-2006), a Vermont Writers Studio Award, a Pushcart Prize Nomination, Marquis Who’s Who of The World, Cambridge Who’s Who of Women in Publication, Poet of the Week (Poetry Superhighway)
She is a President and Founder of the Association of Pennsylvania Poet’s Laureate (founded 2006) and a member of the World Poetry Society and The Daughters of the American Revolution. To learn more, visit her Website.