My enormous thanks to Isabelle Kenyon for sending me a copy of Never One For Promises by Sarah A. Etlinger on behalf of Kelsay Books in return for an honest review.
Never One For Promises
Never One For Promises examines relationships at a critical moment and offers insight into the connection between relationships and spirituality.
My review of Never One For Promises
A collection of twenty poems.
I’m slightly at a loss to know how to review Never One For Promises by Sarah A. Elinger because the sinuous sophistication and beauty of her language is beyond my vocabulary to describe. I’ve read and reread the poems several times and I thought this collection was utterly outstanding.
Sarah A. Etlinger’s poetic eye is perfectly attuned to life and nature. Her descriptions are glorious, particularly when referring to heat and cold. I loved the way there are many references to various kinds of beats throughout so that I found my own heartbeat and pulse becoming attuned to the rhythm of the poetry. It seems ironic too, that one of the shortest and simplest poems, Moment Before The Storm, I found the most affecting emotionally. That said, without exception, the poems in Never One For Promises reverberate with life, emotion and, I suspect, undercurrents of the poets own beliefs, loves, joys and fears.
Themes of love and insecurity, infidelity, religion and patriarchal society are conveyed by both sensual and sensuous imagery so that I found the poems curiously surprising at the same time as being eerily familiar because they conveyed many of my own thoughts in ways I could never have imagined. There’s often a wistfulness that I found so moving.
I have to make particular mention of Unpacking The Last Box After Moving In Together. Admittedly it’s one of the longer poems in Never One For Promises, but in just two and a half pages the poet encapsulates more drama and emotion than many a short story I’ve read. Sarah A. Etlinger has an amazing talent.
I loved Never One For Promises. I frequently read and review poetry but the work of Sarah A. Etlinger is amongst the best I’ve encountered. Just wonderful.
About Sarah A. Etlinger
Sarah A. Etlinger holds a Ph.D. in English and works as an English professor. She lives in Milwaukee, WI, with her family (a husband, young son, and cocker spaniel mix). Though she hails from New England, Milwaukee is her adopted home. Her work can be found in many journals and magazines including The Penwood Review, Cliterature, and Little Rose Magazine; and she can be found discussing her work in The Poetry Professors’ podcast (episode 107). Interests other than poetry include cooking, traveling, reading, and learning to play the piano.