On the North Slope: Poems
by Catharine Savage Brosman
Macon, GA: Mercer University Press
129 pp., $17.00
The poems in this ninth full-length collection by Catharine Savage Brosman could have been composed only by a poet who has lived, studied, and written well through the spring, summer, and autumn and now on into the winter of life. Major poets, such as W.B. Yeats, who continue to develop their craft into their later years are few. Still productive in her 70’s, Brosman is now among those few. Brosman’s poems range over landscapes in the American West, including Colorado, where she was born; Texas, where she now resides; and Europe, where she has traveled and taught. These landscapes—rich with geographical and geological details as well as the flora, fauna, and weather of the various regions—are presented partly as wonders in themselves to be admired for simply being and partly as metaphors brilliantly fitted in detail to the moods and workings of the human heart and mind. Also woven into many of these poems is a remarkable love story: the poet’s reunion with her first husband, Patric Savage, from whom she had long ago parted and whom she met once more many decades later, in 2007, then married again.
The prefatory poem, “Ars poetica,” states the poetic principles that the poems embody. ...