Thursday, April 26, 2012

Georgia Jones-Davis's "Blue Poodle"

      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 away
like a butterfly
hard pears rest
in a stoneware bowl

trees sing
in the nervous November gusts
as the air shudders
in gaudy light

wind chimes
hold a breath                 hesitate
then 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,, ISBN 978-1-59924-7724, 27 pages, $14)

article and photo copyright 2012 marie lecrivain

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