Little Eternities: Poems by Sharon Chmielarz
In this expansive collection, the narrator describes events she may or may not have witnessed and muses on history and the ways images present themselves, some as homey as fiddling with an alarm clock, others as arcane as an Egyptian heiroglyph. The question ''What time is it, anyway?'' a line from an early poem, courses through the work, but the reader soon stops asking, drawn in by impressions loosened from personal crisis, images as common as rain falling on the roof or as startling as: ''Money can be / a gleaming avenue, a night / of snow, a fine dizzying swirl, a cold / white wine's kind of spin under / the street lamp...''
Humor abounds in poems such as ''Size,'' which describes the world inhabited by a woman who wears a size 0 dress, and a series of reflections about a Halloween pumpkin containing the line Humans want their gods to look like them / and lead them through the dark. Several of the poems explore the character of individual words that have survived from the early history of the English language--bumble, sleek, bilge. Once again past and present meet, converse, get to know each other.