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on Feb. 27, 2013 :
A series of studies in Haiku by the author of the fantastic Kiwi series of YA fantasy books. I've read some of Ms. Johnstone's poetry before and this collection is something of a departure from those which I have read. It is a bit more mature and yet it possesses the same grounded kindness which has made her a much beloved writer of young adult fiction. There are bits of sad reality mixed in with joyful beauty to form little threads of reflections on life. Some of them I found profoundly and beautifully sad. My favorite of those was, "She laughs so seldom, Cries when no one is looking, Keeps herself hidden." This is both a heartbreaking image that provokes parental feelings in the reader and at the same time demonstrates an empowering honesty that I found quite touching.
As in life, there are humorous moments. My most favorite one being, "If I second guess, The card that you're about to play, You'll owe me this time!" -- wishful, hopeful and probably futile. Who hasn't sat in just such a game?
My favorite of the entire collection is one which I wish I had written and certainly felt on many an occasion. "He holds the wide stage, Empty and bereft of sound, hypnotizing him." Anyone who has walked out upon a stage as been in this moment.
I spent the morning with these poems, reading, clipping and reflecting. I find them wonderful little treasure and am happy to have them in my library, there for when I need to summon an image for comfort or inspiration.
(review of free book)