In THE DRIVER, THE JOURNEY, THE FALL, Lisa M. McDougald navigates confession and autobiography, writing about a range of trials: the death of her grandfather, love lost and longed for, a co-worker's suicide, and existential anxieties. The author meditates on her heritage by contemplating DNA; she looks upward, celestial, probing there for answers. Here is an ardent soul fighting to sustain herself in a shifting and often isolating modern world through the decay of the 20th century and the dawning of the 21st. She offers us a swing in the park, sharing moments that threaten to plunge us off a cliff, but imploring us to hang on. And we will... This is the author's first book of poems. The collection is divided into three natural moods or seasons. We follow our speaker's shifts through grief and despair, awareness and observation, hope and inspiration. Each poem was selected and revised from pieces written between 1991 and 2017.
Beautiful, striking images work lyrically from words in this worthwhile and enjoyable collection. Literary, lively, and to be savored.
As with almost any collection of writing, this was a little bit of a mixed bag. Some of the poems were excellent, many were okay, and a few really didn't do it for me. That said, I feel like McDougald is worth watching as I feel like she has good ideas and is developing a voice that will only grow stronger over her career.
I truly appreciated reading this book because it took me on a journey of wide-ranging real feelings and many feelings which I often do not access in myself. I was surprised to feel sorrow. I was pleased to be back in touch with regret. I felt my own angst over the world's peril. And the longer I read, the more deeply I felt my humanity.... The writer in me admired how adeptly Lisa chose word combinations I would have never thought to use to paint pictures I would never have otherwise been able to see. It really was a beautiful experience for me reading this wonderful collection of the author's poems. She really shares her soul and by the time I came to the poem that delivers the book's title, I knew the author's underlying statement with this work was a philosophy of embracing it all, as it is. Thank you Lisa for publishing your amazing collection.
If someone asked me what this compilation of poetry is about, I would say, "Everything." And it is written by a woman who has apparently spent a great many years thinking about............everything. It is beautiful in its intensity and honesty, but describing the work with those those two words does not do her poetry justice,
So much poetry is flowery and vague; you almost picture the author sitting down and striving to write words that will smother you with imagery. But Lisa McDougald writes of what you have most likely dared to think about in your more honest moments, your darkest moments, the fears that overcome you upon waking at 3:00 AM, and maybe even insights that came upon you in meditation but you could not put into words. She doesn't label her verse as such, but I was able to tap into her words and find myself there.
This is a work I will keep at my bedside table for times when I can be alone and undisturbed. It is a work to be taken in slowly.
Read it slowly and ponder.