At the Threshold
by Gedda Ilves
Aquarius West Press

"I am an altruist
and decided:
worms also get hungry."

Romantic, intelligent, and poignant, this third anthology of the author's poetry draws from a lifetime of international and interpersonal experience. Many of her poems deal with a disconnect in communication, one person yearning to share feelings with someone who is away on business or no longer alive. At the same time, these selections bridge continental and political borders, showing the universality of the human experience from Honduras to Hong Kong. Each poem comes from the narrative perspective of a unique character that readers will see for just a glimpse into their most private thoughts. The final section of the book is specifically reserved for poetry about children, containing little vignettes ranging to the precocious wanderings of toddlers to the silent terrors of living as a child with an abusive adult.

One of the largest strengths about this book is that the poet has established such a strong written voice that makes each selection powerful and cohesive. Occasionally, a reference to a specific piece of classical music is peppered in to engage more senses and brings an extra layer of sensory depth to the poem. Small details like that result in an experience that is more engaging and emotionally resonant with readers, and this book is full of such details. The closing children's section of the book is deceptive in its presentation; while many of the poems could be shared with children in a way they could identify, many are composed with complexity and some deal with more mature subjects. Lovers of poetry rife with honest emotion and metaphor will be right at home with this book and could have a new favorite poet by the end of it. Body.

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