Sandra Fluck’s narrative poem, evening muse, takes the reader on an emotional and psychological journey into the mind of a young woman experiencing love, turmoil, and desire. Filled with vivid metaphors and images, the poem is a joy to read for its emotional impact as well as the elegant rhythm and movement of the words.
The young woman’s emotion and turmoil is revealed through passages like this:
i love u
& she doubted
& she never wanted to doubt”
I found the technique of abbreviating common words, as shown above, is effective. In my thinking, although it may not be the author’s intention, it reflected the Twitter world we live in and underscored the woman’s youthfulness. Repeated phrases used throughout the narrative are also a technique that I found powerful and subtle at the same time.
The simple, common act of folding and unfolding our arms becomes a powerful metaphor:
the breath comes
what to do with them. The arms. The
go up and down.
crossing and uncrossing
breathing in and out”
Women will recognize themselves in much of the reflection: what could have been, what the future holds, the waiting and angst. As she states, “it’s only been a life of one woman, many hundreds of thousands of women share this one life after all.”
In this passage, I read it as the protagonist pondering about her parents’ hopes and dreams for her, and her inner unrest over what the future holds:
waiting for them
until they would come back
them/they had imagined
always believing things would
be better somewhere else
in the future”
I highly recommend this book, even to readers (like me) who don’t typically choose poetry as their genre to read. The introspection is something most people will relate to, and the beauty of the language is a treat.