Review by Natasha Persaud
Joanne Kurowska, author of The Butterfly’s Choice, creates images that stir the imagination to question the world around us. While I find poetry sometimes hard to connect with as it reads and speaks differently to each reader, these fifty-poems are packed with intensity. There is a physical lure to her poetry as it sits on the blank page, a cryptic, philosophical, and striking breath of fresh air that is swept in by her musings on life, death, and growth. More interesting is that reading this work of poetry requires work. The poems beauty is equaled to its depth; my favorite being, “On Talking”:
Each person has one word to carve
but we don’t know it until
it’s almost too late
Until, too weak to say anything,
we see only dust
in a mirror
Then, knowing we have talked
too much, we hold
I believe that all words create a moment of smeared memories on paper. It is a fragmented moment of the unconscious mind trying to live again through slices of what the writer pulls or salvages from a long life. There are moments throughout that are murky yet the poet manages to construct them so naturally and effortlessly, I grew to appreciate the flow of her work. Words that bury themselves into your mind as you read requires hard work and she has been successful in doing so. The notion of trying desperately to hold onto something in a western world where everything competes for your attention is something that is embedded in her writing.
The shifting landscape of her work serves as a commentary on the whole of society and the constant clutter taking up room in a world over crowed by electronics. It is brilliantly simple, creating vivid images that makes you stop to question why or how your days became so distant from you. For example, the poem “Forever” in the book uses commercials about “eggies” to comment on the ridiculousness of how we use words and time. In a sense, we have lost so much.
So I say to you, sit back, crack a window that lets some of the sounds from your city or quiet town seep in, and read. You will not regret it. I promise. Personally, I look forward to reading and rereading these poems, because, like most talented writers, the words will mean something more at different stages of the reader’s life.