Friday, February 4, 2022

Review of Leaf Memories by Carol Farnsworth


Image: In the center is a photograph of a girl semi-covered in a pile of brown leaves. The girl is wearing a red sweater, white sneakers, and light colored pants. Her eyes are closed. She has straight, dark hair. The top of the image is a sand color with the title of the book in khaki. The bottom of the image is the same with the author's name.
Note: I was given a copy of this book in order to review it.

Wrinkled creases cover your cheeks.
You cry grey tears from cinder hills.
Burnt pine cones start the mend.

-From "Burnt Over"

Leaf Memories by Carol Farnsworth is a nature poetry chapbook interspersed with the occasional photograph in black-and-white. It is divided into sections by season. Each season begins with a grouping of haiku-like poetry sharing the same page. The division makes it a clear and easy read. 

A fall breeze begins to blow
Leaves are eager to start the show.
Dressed in hues of yellow, orange and red,
They hold on tight as the wind spreads.

-From "Tiny Dancers"

Each piece in this collection is awash with color, sound, and motion. Carol's attention to detail is exquisite and delicate. I felt as though I could see each poem just as she describes. Bits of humor can be found inside certain poems like small gifts.

snowflakes pile
crystal on crystal
creates dreamscapes

- "Flakes"

A few poems almost read like miniature lyric essays. "Beauty in the Field" and "With the Wind" are two examples of the work taking on a more fluid scope. They are small journeys to move through.

Two instances (that I can remember) make note of humanity's carelessness/destruction of the beauty of nature. I found this welcome, especially since most nature poets either brush it aside or make it a focus. It appears Carol comes to nature from a place of wonder and respect.

Rain distorts the reflection in the pane.
I contemplate my twisted hold on reality.
Memory of the visual world changes with age,
reforming like a deck of shuffled cards.

- From "Reflections"

Carol Farnsworth wrote these poems shortly after she lost her sight entirely. The last section of the book is "Spring"; it seems to be done with careful intent... leaving readers at a place of beginning.

I recommend this book to any fan of nature poetry.


Biography:  My name is Carol Farnsworth. I have worn many hats in my life. Trained as a Speech Pathologist, I have worked with children and adults with cognitive and language disorders. My leisure time was spent in a community acting group, singing in a chorus, and teaching Hawaiian dance at a local studio.

Six years ago, I struck my one eye losing the rest of my usable vision. I enrolled in a course in Braille and started to write for the local Association for the Blind newsletter. Through Hadley School for the Blind, I learned of a writers with disabilities group. Joining in early 2019, I have learned from fellow writers to practice writing poetry and short stories.

In March of 2020, I started a bi-weekly blog about living with blindness while seeing the humor in daily situations. Blog posts consist of a short article and a poem.

During my association with Behind Our Eyes, I have been published in Spiritfire Review, Breath & Shadow, The Avocet, and the B.O.E.'s magazine, Magnets and Ladders.

Additionally, I write a monthly article for the Blind Perspective and Newsreel audio magazines.

More information on Leaf Memories: 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review, Carol. I remain so impressed with you!