Friday, December 4, 2020

Through the Kaleidoscope by Carey Link (Poetry Book Review)

Image: A collage of different kaleidoscope patterns in muted tones of purple, red, green, blue, grey, brown, and black compose the cover of the collection. Across the top in white letters is the title. The poet's name is near the bottom in black capital letters.


1. I received this for free to review.
2. Carey is a mentor for our program.
When I write a poem,
I listen to the colors of a whisper
that rides on the shadows
of my dreams

-From "Poetry"

Through the Kaleidoscope is a chapbook with held, concrete images and ephemeral leaps. Readers can be in the surreal state of watching the narrator pass through an hourglass and brought back by the hands of loved ones. Dreams are as close as reality. Colors are used as lovely effects.

I search for answers
in opaque blue veins
and rose-colored valleys.

-From "Chain of Beads"

Circular things are mentioned throughout: Wheels, time, rings, beads, and holes are a few. I saw it as a way to remind readers of interconnectivity, but I might be wrong. It's definitely one strand joining these pieces together.

Another thing quite noticeable in these poems is movement. The narrator/subject is rarely still, but the momentum is gentle. Readers are often in a slightly different place by the time a poem ends, but the landing is never jarring.

Born twelve weeks premature
at almost three pounds,
I survived near death.

-From "My First Cradle"

While there are a few mentions of disability, the collection isn't about it as a whole. There is a poem about cancer (I loved the ending of it because it felt complicated and unvarnished).

All of the poems in this collection are fairly short. One of my favorites ("Infinity") is only twelve words long. Carey Link is excellent at using each word to her advantage with no fluff.

This collection is definitely worth the time.
Biography: Carey Link is from Huntsville, Alabama.  In 2017, she retired from a 16 year civil service career. Carey is currently in graduate school pursuing a degree in counseling.  After she completes her studies, Carey wants to work with clients living with life-altering illnesses and conditions.

Carey has been writing poetry since she was a teenager.  She has published two poetry collections, Awakening to Holes in the Arc of Sun (Mule on a Ferris Wheel) and What it Means to Climb a Tree (Finishing Line Press).  Her poetic sequence, I Walk a Tightrope Without a Safety Net was a finalist in the 2019 Blue Light Press Chapbook Contest.  Carey's poems have appeared in Poem, The Birmingham Arts JournalBirmingham Poetry ReviewWLRH Sundial Writers CornerHospital Drive, and elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! Not sure if the word I want is perspective or introspective.