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Book Review: The Poet's Garage by Terry Tierney

by Enakshi J.
(Bangalore)



Title: The Poet’s Garage
Poet: Terry Tierney
Publisher: Unsolicited Press
Rating: 3.5/ 5

The Poet’s Garage offers a confluence of contemplative poems about ageing, nature and memories. Delicately embroidering themes of separation, discomfort, misery and desires, the poet presents the readers an elegantly collated collection of poems. The title of this poetry book derives its name from one of the poems (with the same title) that talks about renovations in life. The poet’s garage symbolises a place that houses words, thoughts and imagination. These are all intangible items. Once inside, one might not find the poet, for he would have escaped to a new place crafting a new alias for himself. The poem highlights the beauty of being a writer- one can create the world one wants and crumble it when the desire to live in it has been fulfilled.

The book has been divided into four sections- Renovations, Shadows and Dreams, Water’s Edge and Doors of Echoes. ‘Renovations’ talks about the redecoration of life. The poet uses metaphors and analogy to bring forth the longing of the heart. I liked two poems from this section- What the Seagulls Know and My Old Furnace. The former talks about the seagulls that carry messages to the lover or keeper. The latter talks about the renovations done in the house to make a place for an old furnace. Every time the poet decides to call the welder, ‘the old arms and the cold cellar’ make ‘the resolve fade away’.

‘Shadows and Dreams’ talks about the connection between events and how we always wish to redo or undo actions that do not have a favourable outcome. One of the poems ‘Wine Stains’beautifully portrays the agony that these stains can evoke. ‘The Empty Bottle’ is a little confusing, for I could not really understand whether it was about the years of experience of living together or about being in a quandary to leave what one has and escape.

‘Water’s Edge’ is a section that I liked more than the other sections because it highlights the contrast in the activity and thinking that the changing weather brings along. ‘Cider Press’ was an ambiguous poem and I could not really associate with it. ‘Reading the Signs’ beautifully describes the importance of opposites- like the ocean for the shore or the Sky for the Earth. ‘Smelling the Rain’ is another interesting poem that focuses on the pleasures one desires during Springtime.

‘Doors of Echoes’ is an overwhelming section where the poet uses echoes as a metaphor for memories that remain when a man succumbs to the mortal law of nature. He associates tangible things with memories and parting with those things is not a palatable choice as it brings grief and sorrow. He also brings out the essence of passing down these items to the generations as they act as a token of love.

Overall, The Poet’s Garage is a liberating collection of poems that is refined and offers a deeper insight into the poet’s mind.

Best wishes to the poet.

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