By Eileen Troemel
Usually, when I prepare to read a book of poems, there’s a certain amount of apprehension, unless the poet is known to me. While I enjoy the immediacy of emotion that poetry offers, some authors who use this form do not exercise discipline, and a good poem requires some of that. It is economy of expression that often gives a poem its edge. And so I began Eileen Troemel’s Moments in Life guardedly–although, to be sure her evocative cover was reassuring.
Readers who also harbor apprehensions about an unfamiliar poet’s work may venture into Ms. Troemel’s aesthetic universe without reservation. There is revealed in her work a refined sensibility, a presence informed by both insight and compassion. Moments in Life is the sort of book one might keep in the bed stand, to sooth and settle the spirit before submitting to the suggestible realm of sleep.
Last night, one poem struck me with special force. Today, I scrolled through Moments in Life so I could find that poem and use it as an example in this review. However, my morning eyes did not see what my mind clearly understood the night before. Other gems caught my attention. This is one of the charms of the collection: it accommodates the mood and the requirements of the moment. A nostalgic inclination, for example, might find resonance in a poem called My Mother’s Kitchen. In more reflective moments, Life’s Cycles might might respond to the inclination to ponder.
One poem that struck me on every reading was Adventures of a Wild Leaf. This poem is brilliant with imagery and takes the reader through stages of anticipation, loss, and then hope.
This volume is not Ms. Troemel’s first. With the skill on display here, that is not surprising. I expect to hear more from this poet in the future. She evidently has a deep well from which to draw.