Thursday, July 28, 2022

#BookReview - Sway by Tricia Johnson


By: Tricia Johnson
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: September 13, 2022
ISBN: 978-1639884209
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: July 27, 2022

This evocative offering by Tricia Johnson is pure poesy, an invitation to readers not only to appreciate the images and undertones of each work but also to ferret out the poet’s, and their own, deeper thinking.

This small but powerful aggregation is divided in four parts, each encompassing a season: Wildflower Bloom, Pumpkin Decorum, Light Captured Hexagons, and Melodious. The opening, eponymous piece depicts the poet hanging clothes on the line outdoors in the warm sunshine, noticing how the swinging garments seem to synchronize with nature’s “hidden song.” In “Warmth,” Johnson is again observing the distinctive joys of summer - “peonies blooming” and languid, luscious breezes:

Sit the feet up
Head back to stars
Crossed feet
Enjoy the meet

In “Enchanting Morning Walk,” Johnson cleverly remarks that the subtleties of the natural world as experienced on her trek in the early hours are “songs not heard in cities.” In “Suspension,” part of Pumpkin Decorum, the poet moves forward both inwardly and outwardly through the year as she lies in bed listening to the changing seasons. “Wink” briefly illustrates her recognition of more changes to come, as she returns the greeting of a red maple leaf, a harbinger of autumn. Winter arrives with the “white geometric creations” referenced in the title of the third segment. Johnson designates snow as “a silent friend falling” (“Connections”) and notes in “Sliding Into New” that winter is “absent of color / the color comes from inside.” The Melodious portion that concludes Johnson’s collection highlights the new awakening of spring: “heady, steamy, aromatic” (“Lovely Touch”). She fashions this invitation “To Spring”:

Come pull me from my mind
Out of the tangle
Winters last tentacles

The creator of this engaging assortment of spontaneous, sagacious seasonal vignettes, Johnson, a retired teacher, lives in Pennsylvania, in what one assumes is a rural region where the beauties and quietness of nature can be specially appreciated. The poems arrayed here are in the main introspective, revealing a love of language and a need for the solace and surprises of flowers, fields, stars, and snowflakes. They reflect her wish to share her unique perspective as she takes the simple cues offered by her environment and intuitively fashions them into wonder-laden word pictures.

Quill says: Poet Tricia Johnson has combined her gift of words with feelings, philosophies and natural phenomena in a collection that will warm hearts and open new inner doors.

For more information on Sway, please visit the author's website at:

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