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Book Review :: If There Is No Wind by Margaret R. Sáraco

If There Is No Wind by Margaret R. Saraco book cover image

Guest Post by R. Bremner

Margaret R. Sáraco’s solid debut poetry collection, If There Is No Wind, begins with a paean to a once-imposing, now-deceased maple tree, skillfully interweaving emotions and memories: “we sat on the stump remains, holding vigil, wishing her well in the afterlife.” It ends with a poem that transforms her into a seabird, exchanging the anguish of being shut in for the joy of freedom, “swimming in warmth, bathing my afterimage away.” In between are 77 pages of sometimes melancholy, sometimes uplifting, but always affecting, poetry. With a personal bias toward surrealism, perhaps my favorite poem in this collection is the lightly surrealism-tinged “Lifeline,” in which Saraco considers that her life has been spent “seated in a kayak / paddling rivers I’ve never seen.” She is waiting for her turn

To pull the kayak
ashore, climb out
discover what
is buried
in my
dense weeds.

In the next-to-last poem in this book, “Quiet Moment,” Sáraco views a reflected moon in a puddle on a clear night and is waiting “for a message / to tell me what this means.” It is indeed a feeling that many of us have had.

If There Is No Wind by Margaret R. Sáraco. Human Error Publishing, September 2022.

Reviewer bio: R. Bremner has been writing of incense, peppermints, and the color of time since the 1960s in journals and anthologies including International Poetry Review and Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry. Eight published books and chapbooks bear his name, including Hungry Words (Alien Buddha Press).

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