Monday, January 15, 2007

Hi, folks!

Following is a review for a lovely collection of poetry by Maggie Ball, owner of Check out this book, her new joint venture book of poetry with Carolyn Howard Johnson, and her website, here.

Title: Quark Soup

Author: Magdalena Ball

Publisher: Picaro Press

Publisher's Address: P.O. Box 853, Warners Bay, NSW 2282, Australia

ISBN number: 1-920957-23-5

Price: $7.00 (includes postage worldwide)

To Buy:

Quark Soup

By Magdalena Ball

Review by Aaron Paul Lazar

Author of the LeGarde Mystery Series

Quark Soup is a cryptic collection of alluring poetry that provides fodder for deep introspection, while personifying planets and attributing humans with celestial properties. The subjects of childbirth and supernovas are cleverly interwoven, often cloaking the author’s intent. In great mystery, cosmic wonders flow within love and relationships, titillating the reader’s imagination.

Examine this segment from Coil of Life:

Hurling matter in all directions,

the particles of the embryonic universe

rush away from each other.

In the beginning there was nothing

but plasma soup. Less than a second later

pure energy became

a slippery birth cry still measurable

fifteen billion years later

in the decaying echoes of space.

Is the author referring to the birth of a child, or a universe?

In this excerpt from Aurora, Ms. Ball appears to be pleading with a cold-hearted scientist who has lost the capacity to perceive beauty and perhaps also the ability to show affection. Her earnest entreaty follows.


If I could capture that spectrum

the atomic neon sign of your lost wonder

and feed it to you on a spoon

when your lonely vigil against

poverty and incompetence

becomes ball and chain

I'd give up my own food

stand with my back to the solar wind

close my eyes to beauty

to keep you warm.

I’d be your personal aurora

your talisman against the dark lure of ennui

an electrical current charging

your ionosphere.


Science and passion fold together in masterful imagery as love, loss, and motherhood slip in and out of the image streams captured by Ms. Ball.

The subject of loss is tackled in several pieces, most particularly in Green, which addresses the loss of a mother to cancer. Examine this excerpt:

my fingers worked independent

from intent

tracing the landscape of her arched back

as she bent over her porcelain taskmaster

begging the drugs which she couldn’t swallow

to kill the disease

indistinguishable from her own cells


Honest emotion covers themes like lonely childhood, the perfect universe, an impersonal lover, and the infinite joy of parenthood. With skillful word tapestries, the poems are infused with the wisdom of deep thought and experience, a rare commodity in such a young author. The collection is highly recommended, and will be treasured on this reviewer’s bookshelf.

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