ForeWord Reviews

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Equipoise

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 1998

“We all live in fear of shoreless feelings,” and in Halme’s second book of poems she attempts to provide these shores. Most prominent is Halme’s sensual commitment to language; her poems resonate with a phonetic lushness illuminating her intelligent imagery. These poems are enjoyable most notably for the pleasure of pure sound.

Inspired by the North Carolina coastline, Equipoise often feels oceanic, even nautical in tone. These themes unite all four chapters, but are most apparent in Part I. In “Lilies Showering Down” she writes: “Consider how infinite I was, walking every inch of that orchid-shaped island: no jangled thoughts, I knew only elegances…” Gently peppered into her poems are flavors of mysticism, portrayed by an efficient and clever selection of words, which result in a pleasurable and unexpected unfolding.

Halme probes at a variety of human relationships. A couple seems to appear in almost every poem, though not always romantically inclined. Even when the relationship is clearly intimate, Halme never overbears her reader with melodrama, but rather intensifies the experience by not stating the obvious. Or perhaps she states the obvious, but does so elegantly. “Corn segues like greening shades of thought/and girls/are taught to pull the drooping silk and so untie the creamy ears’ alleged concupiscence.” Within this language a delicious sensual, sexuality undulates.

Overall, these poems read as a collection of finely crafted work, with the occasional bumpy passage. At best, and for the majority of Equipoise, Halme writes as a sculptor who honors the essence of unformed stone and the core of her poems.