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Sway by Tricia Johnson is a collection of poems about the changing seasons and embracing nature from the author’s perspective. Johnson has written this second book of poems; readers who liked her first book, Whirl Away Girl, will enjoy her newest edition.

Johnson’s poems are written almost like a coded diary that is full of emotion and feelings that are deep and guttural and evoke emotions in the reader. The poems are easy to read, but I feel like the poems are open to interpretation. I found one poem blended into another, and without the strong theme of summer, fall, winter, and spring (in that order, I believe), I couldn’t tell one poem from another.

My favorite poem in this book would be Shadows Bold, as it holds a steady rhythm and is easily interpretable. Depicting the snow melting and spring coming alive. I liked how the author began and ended the poem with similar lines, “Sun makes shadows bold… As sun keeps shadows bold.”

I enjoyed the inconsistency of the poems, and it was a pleasant surprise that accompanied each poem. Most of the poems do not rhyme or form a particular structure.

For example, on page 17, the poem does not start with a rhythm; however, if you continue to read, there are two lines that start a rhyme “Nighttime haze/ Your eyes glaze…” Only these two lines, and then the rhythm is dropped. But the author then picks up the rhythm again in a chunk at the end. “Silent prick to eye/Unstoppable weather drifting by/Pop-up storm of emotion/Clouded by such devotion…” And the rhyme is dropped again. This does not follow any structure that I’m familiar with, and I find it interesting.

Sway is a pleasant and light read for those who enjoy poems about nature and enjoy the reflective nature of poetry.

Page: 108 | ISBN : 1639884203

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