Following is a review for a lovely collection of poetry by Maggie Ball, owner of compulsivereader.com. 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: http://www.compulsivereader.com/html/images/quarkindex.htm
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
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
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.