NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
KIRSTY KARKOW: WATER POEMS
Black Cat Press
613 Okemo Drive
Eldersburg
Maryland 21784
USA
ISBN 0 9766407 0 8
$15.95

email Black Cat Press
email the author

A subsquent collection is SHORELINES (Black Cat Press ISBN 0 9766407 5 9).

www
NHI review home page
FAQ page
Notes for Publishers

book reviews
anthologies
magazines
other media

Web design by Gerald England
This page last updated: 13th October 2008.
KIRSTY KARKOW: WATER POEMS

WATER POEMS is a collection that evokes beautifully the sea and shorescapes of Maine:

 
	not a whale ...
	the dark bank of seaweed
	rises on each swell

		paddling briskly
		the high-water mark
		drawn with snow

	twilight at sea 
	homebound trawlers tow
	long shadows
The book is full of such finely received images transferred to the page with great craft. Ms Karkow's work has a gentle vigour; each 'action' emerging unforced from its particular catalyst. These poems reflect with integrity the poet's commitment to her, as yet, untrammelled environment:
	salt marsh
	a moose lifts antlers
	dripping with weeds

		ice moon
		long-haired ponies turn
		tail to the wind
Ms Karkow is equally skilled in the art of tanka and sijo a form originating in Korea. An interesting form which allows for a greater lyricism, having three long lines which depict three distinct shades of meaning within the poem. Western poets tend to split the lines into six:
	Terns and gulls line both rails, 
		the pier white with their waiting.
	Gray beaks face the northeast gale,
		steady as weather vanes in pewter. 
	A cold front! Why do they pause? 
		The wind would help them southward.
The poet's quietly passionate sense of place is very much evidenced in the following tanka:
	loons live here 
	countless lilies, otters, 
	a beaver dam ... 
	his voice grows soft with sharing
	lake lore learned from childhood
WATER POEMS is a beautifully produced little book. Ms Karkow's charming front cover watercolour is aptly chosen.

reviewer: Michael Bangerter