Secure the Shadow
By Claudia Emerson
Published by Louisiana State University Press
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-0807143025 $47.33 Paperback ISBN 13: 978-0807143032 $14.21 Kindle ASIN B007FRK7V8 $9.99
Secure the Shadow is a book of poems by the writer Claudia Emerson. The poems delve deeply into human nature, life on the farm, and death, both animal and human. Memories and poems are laid out in a manner that makes them easy for all readers to relate to and the poetess makes strong use of imagery until one can see and hear the scenes described upon the pages.
I found Secure the Shadow evoked a melancholy mood and visceral reaction. The writer’s subject matter is varied and while it can certainly be argued that she is exorcising some personal demons this does not take over the entirety of the material or negate the fine quality of writing present.
While I loved the use of imagery and how vividly the scenes came to life, I felt all of them were touched with a dab of drudgery. Of course, the writer looks at rural farm life through a lens of reality rather than the idealized image of rural life that many carry in their imagination. While there is an innocence and naivety that comes across because of this, there is a strong opposing influence brought about by the reality of chores, the difficulty of life and the rather bloody task of killing and butchering animals. This juxtaposition brings added depth to this work and makes it truly enjoyable.
I would recommend Secure the Shadow to the serious reader of poetry. It is well worth the short time it takes to read it and it would be a welcome addition to a permanent library.