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Sway by Tricia Johnson

Source: Publisher
Paperback, 108 pgs.
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Sway by Tricia Johnson is best read a few poems at a time, dipping in and out of nature’s changes and seasons. Johnson’s poems are primarily focused on nature and the narrator is caught up in all the beauty. She’s distracted by it, enthralled by it, and in awe of it – as it should be. In “Nestle,” readers are invited to meet the narrator “in the tall grass/We will settle in its hidden places/Nestled with mother earth” (pg. 12)

Readers will feel like they have fallen into the natural world, where the sun and moon enchant the walk. The narrator is asking us to stop with her, take a breath, and observe … be in the moment. Each season is give its due and Johnson knows how to describe each well, making readers feel like they are there. I don’t think that these poems necessarily depict only Pennsylvania, but they could be in other backyards. Reading the poems in succession can get a bit monotonous. But there are those moments where you fall right into the poem.

Walk (pg. 31)

...
The smell of fall
Warm air out
The chill felt through fabric
Move to sweat along the back of a scarf wrapped neck
Wink (pg. 34)

One red leaf on my maple tree
Winked out as I walked by
I said hello, introduced myself
Thanked its crimson glow
A nod toward change
A season swooping in
The center glimpse of rose
Wrapped in the nature of green

My favorite poem in the collection has to be “Pumpkin Latte” where deer are the night raiders cannibalizing her pumpkin decorations. It reminds me of the family of deer in my own yard and how they will nibble anything they can. Fruits and vegetables are their favorites, of course.

Sway by Tricia Johnson calls to us, guides us to an appreciation of nature. She’s providing us with paintings and an atmosphere where we can just be and breathe.

RATING: Tercet

Other Reviews:

About the Poet:

Tricia Johnson is a poet wishing to share her work with others, by using the written word to embrace one another’s humanity.  She is a retired teacher.  She lives in the beautiful hills of Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.  Published work includes the poem “Living with Lupus” which appeared in Still You Poems of Illness & Healing, Wolf Ridge Press 2020.

Accomplished by Amanda Quain (audio)

Source: Purchased
Audible, 9+ hrs.
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Accomplished by Amanda Quain, narrated by Deva Marie Gregory, focuses on high school-age Georgiana Darcy who is struggling to find herself after Wickham entangles her in his drug-dealing scheme at her private school.She is a bit dramatic, probably too many regency romance shows for her.

Gregory is an excellent narrator for this young adult’s redemption story. She provides different voices for Georgie, Fitz, Avery, Wickham, and others.

Georgie is crumbling under the pressure of the Darcy name and its expectations. She’s unsure of who she is and unable to rectify her reputation at the private school where everyone hates her for taking away their best trombone player and drug dealer, Wickham. Even though she had nothing to do with the drug dealing and her room was all Wickham needed, her brother is severely disappointed and ramps up his helicopter parenting.

Georgie, on the other hand, is eager to get out from under the glare of her classmates, Wickham’s threats, and her brother’s oppressive supervision. Her lavish family lifestyle is something she wants to get past but even those around her see her like her ancestors and even her brother — untouchable, able to throw money at problems, and so many other privileged trappings.

Accomplished by Amanda Quain, narrated by Deva Marie Gregory, is a charming story of a young woman looking for herself as forces outside of herself try to force her to be someone she isn’t. She’s artistic, musical, and creative, and clearly not the business/medical mold of the Darcy legacy. While Georgie is a bit obsessive and full of anxiety, which can get tiresome, her gradual evolution in this story is delightful, even when she stands up to her brother, not quite in the most rational or tactful way. Quain is a talented writer, and I look forward to others in this series.

RATING: Quatrain

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