Friday, August 27, 2010

Linda Benninghoff Review of Peach Seeds by Peggy Eldridge-Love

Peach Seeds
By Peggy Eldridge Love
MiPoesias Chapbook Series

Reviewed by Linda Benninghoff

With an image, a phrase or an outline of a brief incident, Peggy Eldridge Love can capture so much about a person or place: as in “Peach Seeds,” her poem to her mother.

She didn’t like that I thought I was adopted.
She leaned her face into mine so that we
were eye to eye.
I was the worst pain she’d ever known;
Nine hours with complications…

She was no more amused when I decided
I was really the reincarnation of an English
] princess held captive
by a bevy of sixteenth century dysfunctional nuns.

The poem is rich with imagination, as when the poet imagines herself a princess, imprisoned by nuns. For the poet, imagination plays a part in forming identity, and she lets her imagination play, and it plays with words.

In “Induced Labor,” two diametrically opposed lovers are set off against each other, and the poet plays with language to sharpen and reveal this opposition.

I know you love me
and when he doesn’t I run

to your memory, my shelter

deep in the limestone covered

caves of my youth.

I know that you did

and when I remember

how callus I was with your

vulnerability I wonder of

karma’s weight.

And were I now to find y ou,

and love you, and woo you

would you no longer

love me, would I then need

to run to the cavern of

his memory, safe in knowing

he never did.

Some of the poems deal with love, either a mother’s love, or a lover’s love, but the brushstrokes are original and the imagination rich.

In “Circle of the Muse,” the poet imagines a muse hanging around to her right in Kansas City. Whose muse is it? It may be Hemingway’s: another imaginative jump in poems full of imagination.

In “Red Girl,” the poet picks a few details and subtly captures a young girl.

Red girl, we called her,

since the burst of curls, the

sprinkle of rusty highlights

that graced her cheeks

were the envy of all the shades in our

Crayola box.

Then Red Girl disappears at the end of the poem and her disappearance is unexplained, a mystery.

These poems capture mystery, the quest for identity and love, but do so in an original way, with imagery that leaps off the page and makes the chapbook “Peach Seeds” unforgettable.


Jim K. said...

I got mine in paper just now.
It's magic. Did another review.
Thanks for the details, Linda.
I was able to move on to the
feel of it.

Peggy said...

Oh Jim! I read your comment and the detective in me went searching immediately and what I found brought me to tears. What can I say? Thank you! I am so humbled by your review.