Seasonal Woods: A Collection of Poems
by Jane Summers

"My hair a mass of
corn silk
A pale golden hue
Strewn around
Shining with
Of tiny
Jewels and stars
Adorning my crown."

Though Summers finds inspiration from the passing seasons, the impact of South Asian (Indian) culture in her poetry is undeniable. In particular, “A Daily Ritual” and “A Celebration of Festival” capture both the festive spirit and the sanctity of the morning ritual. From references to temple celebrations to the token ingredients of a morning—turmeric, kumkum, and sandalwood—readers will embrace the rhythmic structure and use of repetition that unveil layer after layers of emotion and culture.

The compilation, broken into two volumes, uses resplendent imagery to evoke the desired emotion. Moreover, there is an air of authenticity and purity of intent best exemplified by poems such as “A Daughter’s Beauty through Time.” Daughters are considered a blessing, but Summers captures this feeling by comparing the tender relationship between parent and daughter with the “smile of the moon.”

Whether the poetry is alluding to running streams, coves, or the woods, each of the poems in the first volume exhibits a distinctly serene, almost meditative quality. In one instance, “A Fork in Woods,” seems to be an adaptation of Robert Frost’s iconic poem, “The Road Not Taken,” with each road a representation of a different phase and objective in life. In the second volume, a series of short but compelling poetry stanzas urge the audience to seize the moment and appreciate one’s relationships. The commentary following each poem is not as much an interpretation as it is the poet’s reflection on the ideas presented. Though many of the themes in this compilation—including but not limited to family, love, happiness, and embracing failure—are not uncommon to poetry, the vulnerability and genuine infusion of emotion provide a refreshing perspective while examining familiar subjects.

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