I wrote this back in the early summer and never got around to posting it... There's some good poems here. The author has been a part of a writing group that I participate with in Savannah.
Danelle Lejeune, “Landlocked: Etymology of Whale-fish and Grace (Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 107) 65 pages
This is a delightful book of poems with wonderful images of bees, cooking, chores around the farm and home, children, secrets, broken relationships, and new horizons. Lejeune, the child of Cajun parents, draws from her roots in Louisiana, across the Midwest including time on a hog farm in Iowa where her children were born, and on to the coastal plain of Georgia where she now lives. Many of these poems are inspired by people: her parents, her children, and her ex-husband. They capture the difficulty of leaving the past behind. In “What Brings Her Ghost Back,” she tells of the difficulty of exorcising her mother’s ghost which reappears by the way she kneads dough in a manner reminiscence of her mother and how her mother’s laughter is heard in her children. It is evident that Lejeune carefully chooses the stories and words that make it into her tightly woven poems. “I smile and laugh and pretend words cannot break me,” she concludes the poem, “Monsters and Mouthfeel.” But that’s only a dream as Lejuene demonstrates. Words and memories carry the power to destroy. Yet, words also hold the power to build and the keys to grace.
I recommend Landlocked: Etymology of Whale-fish and Grace. The readers will delight in Lejeune’s use of language and metaphor. This is a book one will want to pull off the shelf over and over again in order to revisit those poems. Lejeune also works with the Ossabaw Writer’s Retreat.