Book Review: “Magdalene & the Mermaids” by Elizabeth Kate Switaj
Publisher: Paper Kite Press
Publication Date: 3/3/2009
About the Author:
Elizabeth Kate Switaj edits Crossing Rivers Into Twilight www.critjournal.com and is assistant editor of Inertia Magazine. Her professional experience includes teaching in cities across the US, Japan, and China as well as writing copy for a kimono import and analyzing online media. Her website:
“Magdalene & the Mermaids” is a powerful collection of poems with themes that most women can relate. Certainly, this collection features a very touching and thought provoking collection of vers libre poems with a great use of metaphor that digs into all aspects of the human experience of Mary Magdalene, the biblical character, being sniped with disdainful language.
This poetry book proves that our minds often transcend the chosen words in the poem when reading it into the very core of the poet’s own visual sensation and his / her own realism to create such a chef-d’oeuvre.
I think that the opening poem To Siren In Museum on page 7 of this collection was brilliantly written. This poem, sad in its tone, yet the message was very clear. Indeed, the author in her poem shared a light of hope, despite the sign of rejection. What a positive way to end a sad feeling!
I touch my cheeks
You do not sing
and so I must for both of us
My story is nothing
left on some rock
Apology For Leaving You Behind, on page 42, is another piece of written art that I found to speak of such positive commitment in life and love, for her reader to reflect and refer to, as shown in the last concluding lines that speak for the poem as a whole.
but if I’d believed
it was love
to make love
I’d still have my legs
Sea Mother’s Love, on page 54, was a well thought masterpiece full of promises, peace and tranquillity. The poem shows a sliver of light in love that reader can feel upon reading it, and the opening stanza really charms the heart and soul of the reader to continue reading the poem till the last line.
I will take this baby
You broke in me to make
And let barnacles grow
The aforementioned poems were just some of my likings, but there are more interesting poems that will intrigue the mind of the reader, such as Cleansing Metamorphosis, page 17; Icon $Construction, page 21; Judas’ Note, page 41; Magdalene’s Revelation, page 47, to list a few.
This poetry collection “Magdalene & the Mermaids” is authentic and enjoyable to read. I’ve read it many times, but I always see myself reading it on a regular basis for I am in awe of its superbly written pieces of arts that came from deep within that generate a sequel of interest on a heroine named Magdalene. This book, I extremely recommend it not only to poetry lovers, but also to those people interested in understanding the mysteries and myths surrounding Magdalene’s life, and it is by virtue of the author’s versatility and her gift of evoking heartfelt emotion in her poetry that made me cherish this excellent collection and to know more of this poet.