Book review of Amber Porch Light by Gina Ferrara

Gina Ferrara
Amber Porch Light
WordTech Communications, August, 2013
72 pages/$17.00

Light is the protagonist of Gina Ferrara’s powerful poetry collection, Amber Porch Light. Hinted at in the book’s title — and its three section titles (Aglow, Burnished and Candescent) — light is thoughtfully sourced to different effect in nearly all of the 16 or 17 poems within each section.

In Aglow, the poet delights not only in the “harbingers of light” revealed in “craved fruit not found in Eden,” but also in the “spectrum of gems” of an ordinary kiwi and the “darkest shade of sunset” inside a typical blood orange – not to mention the “pink melee” of flower petals collected by the “rusted tips” of a metal rake.

There are poems illuminated by vast frescoes, while others are “lacerated” by “moonlight” in “degrees of tint” with a fair share of “necessary darkness.” In the poem, “February Eclipse,” light and darkness actually seem to lust after one another when the sun “mate[s] with the moon” in this “aboriginal legend.” In other poems, light ignites during an “epic sleep,” sparking “dreams of autumn” with the “brightest hues of olives” and “violet.” Try as you might, you simply can’t “ignore the translucence” of these carefully lit poems.

My favorite piece from the book, “Double Helix,” comes from this first section. I especially enjoyed this stanza…

Read the review at LA Books Examiner.

Frank Mundo is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories. His latest book is an illustrated novella for adults called Different. Don’t forget to subscribe to his emails and follow him on Twitter @Frankemundo or @LABooksExaminer for the latest updates.

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