A poet's task, among many others, is to trace back the thread/map the events that have shaped her into the person she has/will ultimately become. Georgia Jones-Davis's chapbook, Blue Poodle (copyright 2011, Finishing Line Press), accomplishes this feat with a solid, visual gathering of narrative poems that explore her familial history as well her love of other poets.
Jones-Davis, a literary journalist and former book reviewer, has put her talents to good use. Each poem in Blue Poodle is carefully crafted, and, surprisingly honest, with a balanced mix of photographic language, tight verse, and fierce truths. The end result of Blue Poodle can be compared to a poetic short film festival with enough variety to keep the reader engaged: familial disappointment and dysfunction (“Wave Drag,” “Put Me Away,” and,“Your Father”); the lasting damage of historical events on a family's legacy (“Emily at Auschwitz”); seminal events of the author's youth (“Night of the Nightmares,” “Missing Don Ho,”and, “The Visitors”); and, poetic homage (“Keats,” “26 Piazza de Spagna,” and, “Listening to Anne Sexton”).There are also a handful of short, but lovely “in the moment” pieces, where Jones-Davis shares an ephemeral and highly personal glimpse into her private world, as in the poem, “The Day Tumbles Away Like a Butterfly”:
The day tumbles awaylike a butterfly
hard pears rest
in a stoneware bowl
trees singin the nervous November gusts
as the air shudders
in gaudy light
hold a breath hesitatethen their jangled music
hold a breath hesitate
while the pears
in the stoneware bowl
Jones-Davis's biography mentions she started to write and publish her work work at a young age, but, in her college years, was diverted by a discouraging poetry workshop. So, she spent the next couple of decades writing literary criticism, living life, and raising a family – which, in my opinion, was the right thing to do. The result is Blue Poodle, a triumphant return for Jones-Davis The Poet, and a literary gem for poetry lovers.
Blue Poodle (copyright 2011, Georgia Jones-Davis, Finishing Line Press, www.finishinglinepress.com, ISBN 978-1-59924-7724, 27 pages, $14)
article and photo copyright 2012 marie lecrivain