Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Spaces Between Things

The latest collection of Linda Benninghoff’s poems is here under the title The Spaces Between Things (erbacce-press, Liverpool, 2008). Like her previous chapbook departures, this collection brings memories of childhood, friends, family, and experiences of natural elements (animals, trees, water, and weather) to life. The 34 poems in this short book deal with the experience of feeling the space between things and how it relates to our definition of life as a conscious individual. Language and compassion transcend the physical barriers while the unstoppable arrow of time marks the position of our individual existence as a being apart from all the rest. Benninghoff certainly writes more with her brains while making room for the beat of her heart in her unrhymed verse.

The Spaces Between Things is intimately involved with the theme of ‘change’. As we move through time, a sense of sameness remains as the essential core of our self but a lot of scenes change on the canvas of life. The two states are often reconciled by the silence of the memory of our past. But there are times when our mind considers things in a questioning mood. Thus Benninghoff asks why her father would not give her the same degree of support as he did when she was a child (Hyannisport). What has changed in the process of becoming an independent individual? Even things that we consider our ‘own’ may not be so when viewed in the context of this constant flux. In Butterflies, for example, we read:

‘I know I have never owned anything
not my hands, my thoughts
nor even the butterflies’

The Spaces Between Things comes without any prelude or formal introduction. Linda Benninghoff does not choose to interpose her presence between her poetic work and its audience. The effect is immediacy of getting to see the scenes she paints with her words. The world of her observation and imagination is peaceful, natural, and beautiful with birds, trees, family, friends, and more.

ISBN: 978-1-906588-12-0



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