A Dream of Wide Water, by Sharon Whitehill

What do a love story unfolding and honeybee lore have in common? Cosmology and Humpty Dumpty? Sharon Whitehill’s full-length collection of poems, A Dream of Wide Water, finds such surprising connections. We become part of the intimate life of the the poet as she is leaving a bad love affair and on the tentative brink of a new one. These poems carry us through to an autumnal walk through a forest that seems to become a cathedral, then to life in a beekeeper’s orange grove. Yes, reader, she married him.

But that’s only the start. Each poem that follows connects in some way to the world of nature: human nature not least of all. Themes emerge in the process: moments that leave their mark on a child, the unveiling of an identity, our human role the world, reflections on human behavior, the existence (or not) of God. All find a home in these poems. This poet presents us with what we might call an old-fashioned romantic spirit—yet it’s one equipped with a sense of humor linked to an ironic eye.

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