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Fledgling, Poems by Sarah White
Fledgling, by Sarah White, is a collection of twenty-eight sonnets on a range of themes, some autobiographical, some generally reflective. The title poem celebrates the fledgling goose, its first flight and mission as mate and member of its migratory society. In each poem, the classic fourteen lines are deployed in various ways to evoke the author's own travel destinations over the years and, finally, to create a "crown" of seven sonnets inspired by memories of the author's mother and reflections on her complex character as a parent. Thus, the sonnet form generates, as it has for centuries, both narrative and argument.
"This is a volume of fearless exploration. Far into her life's journey, Sarah White tells us that 'All the islands I have known become one island….' On this island-world wander a child, a student, a wife and mother, and the octogenarian she has become. The poems are free verse, delicately metered and slant-rhymed. Her eye is that of the skillful painter that lives with the poet in her. The island is beautiful and populous in solitude. You will long remember the visit." -Bill Rector
"Sarah White's new chapbook from CW Books is called Fledgling, but White is anything but a fledgling poet. Author of eight volumes of poetry, she is also an accomplished painter, and her artist's eye can be seen in many of the poems, especially the travel poems. The coast of Maine, Boston, the Caribbean, Tuscany, Madrid, Rome, are all destinations where White sets up her easel for pictures and opens her notebook for poems. The book concludes with a superbly wrought crown of sonnets, a form consisting of seven interlocking fourteen-line poems dating back to fifteenth-century Siena, perfect for the exploration of the poet's complex relationship with her mother. After years of traveling the world, the fledgling returns to her nest." -J. R. Solonche
"Sarah White's chapbook Fledgling takes the reader around the world in twenty-two sonnets, with each poem a lens onto the illuminated subject, be it a craggy landscape, the Tuscans in Siena, a quirky painting in the Prado-even snow globes. These sonnets artfully engage us in weighty but never heavy-handed meditations on nature, time, art and our own humanity, speaking to us always in images and sounds that are rich and organic. With words Sarah paints the simple yet astounding details of our world, as when she anticipates the beetle-eaten page of a drawing that could not be finished before the 'lavender fog' set in, or how a peninsula wears all of nature's assaults along its coastline. As in nature, Sarah suggests that our own souls bear the fierce evidence of our travels, badges that deserve to be embraced. Every human is a 'fledgling,' craving safety yet at the same time 'starved' to join creation and create a home with 'cushions of brown and white down from their own breasts.' A jewel of a collection!" -Andrea L. Fry
ISBN 978-1625493811, 40 pages, $16.00