Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review: Garden Metamorphosis by Smoky Zeidel

Genre: Poetry


“In the midst of a confusing and frightening world, Smoky Zeidel remains true to form with her poetry, gently reminding us to close out the superfluous and remember that which is sacred. Garden Metamorphosis is both a love song to Mother Earth, and a celebration of the cycle of life.”


“Smoky Zeidel is a novelist and poet, whose love of the natural world is thematic in all she writes. She taught writing and creativity workshops for many years at venues throughout the Midwest before succumbing to her bohemian urges and moving to Southern California. Her work has earned her five nominations for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Smoky lives in the Coachella Valley, which is part of the vast Colorado Desert in Southern California, with her husband Scott, two cats, and a Chihuahua named Tufa (who considers herself the Boss of Everything). She is an avid desert gardener, an orchid grower, and monarch caterpillar rancher.”


A collection of 25 poems plus a “bonus” short story that fits the theme of the poems which, as the description says, is a “celebration of the cycle of life.” With a few exceptions I’d describe it as observing nature and the outdoors.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a book of poetry before this. Sure, I’ve read a random poem thrown in at the start of a novel or a limerick on the bathroom wall, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat down with the intent of reading an entire book of poetry before, let alone with the intent of writing a review once I was done. However, I did review music for a website where all of the reviewers, myself included, tended to focus on the lyrics. About two poems in it struck me that the same things that make a good song lyric are what makes a good poem. Yeah, Homer Simpson is reading this and saying, “well d’oh.”

A good poem or song lyric has to say a lot with few words. It needs to have enough detail to put the reader or listener in a certain place mentally or emotionally, while leaving enough blank spaces for them to fill in, so they can make it their own. It needs to have a catchy rhythm and, in the case of a poem, you can’t even use that guitar or fiddle solo to help you out. The poems in this collection did all of that. And more. If you’re a gardener or a fan of the outdoors, especially if you’ve spent time in the desert southwest, you’ll be captured by these poems for sure. Others, you’ll get a glimpse of what you’ve been missing.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 9-10,000 words

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