Poets of the Monterey Bay
|The Meaning of Wings
Poems by Joanna Martin
Praise for The Meaning of Wings:
Joanna Martins The Meaning of Wings is a unique and deeply satisfying book.
The nursing poems at the core of the collection are especially moving. A nurse by
profession, Martin deals daily with the bodies and souls of the dying and the
drownedthose clinging to life and those addicted. Here, she offers us a
nurses-eye view of blood, grit, corpses, prayers, miracles. You would never guess
how many deaths/ she still has/ to witness. But good poetry is built of surprises
as when one terminal patient surprises even Martin: you turn into wings/ and
/ you sing/ for us. And, inspired, Martin sings as wellof the daily
miracle of living: passing a stranger on the street, waiting in line at the
bankhiking with her beloved father whose presence frames the volume (He
haloed me under/ for a brief, winged time), settling in under her lovers
coat like wings folding over my shoulders, or just reading a good book
on a stormy winter morningeverything centers/ becomes itself/ and then
becomes/ itself/ again. Martins poems search and trace her own becoming.
She is most often meditative, philosophicalsometimes feminist and
politicalalways sensuousultimately, movingly grateful and compassionate.
And Martins love and erotic poems are delightful as are her very funny
poems of Middle Aged Dating or a Third Dategone not so well. This book
has an impressive variety of strengths. Im sure you will agree that with
this publication, poet Joanna Martin has foundhas earnedher wings.