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DOLL GOD: A Poetry Collection ~Luanne Castle

“I talk to him about my cousin’s life, expecting something from him.  Neither of us knows what.” (Page 34)

“Every day the world subtracts from itself,” Luanne Castle observes. Her wonderfully titled collection, Doll God, with its rich and varied mix of poems part memoir, part myth and tale, shimmers as it swims as poetry is meant to, upstream against the loss. “ ~Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author of STREETS IN THEIR OWN INK.”

I start writing about DOLL GOD and end up going back to Amazon to these words of praise posted on the book site.   I wonder what this fellow sees in the poems, how they resonated with his concepts of poetry and writing?  I have read the whole book now seven times to find connection, that concise perception that resonates with me and so I would name this a poem within my framework.   Rather when I switched my thinking to read small little essays, I found some phrases that were wonderful.  I would not put it in a poetry column or tab.

DOLL GOD did touch me emotionally with all the sadness of loss and none of the opportunity or delight explored.  Yes, many of the metal toys were melted down for the war effort, and I was captured by the games of war and the games that children play and practice.  What did we truly learn and where do we reflect on these symbols?   If there is no more war, will we go back to metal toys?

“In my confusion, I read the wrong miracles” (page 71)

The author’s rage at cancer makes me want to like this book and yet I try not to inflict my cancer rage on anyone else.  I let it go, sometimes hourly, and I assist in helping other’s let it go because it can eat one alive – literally.  I need to emphasize the gifts of this dis-ease.   I am worthy of so much joy, and I will put this book on the shelf until my next trip to the support group and I will pass it on.

Annie Lamont, the writer has Horrible Bonnie to call when too much is brought to her attention, I don’t have anyone to call right now and this book does not speak to me or share a passion with words or talk about hard things with follow through-my tongue is full of down; why do I work so hard to encourage and why do I keep trying to save?

Please do not take my word for it, because there are a number of reviewers who are singing praises for these poems and the author has more credentials than I.   Serena at POETIC BOOK TOURS and the author sent me a copy of the book for review, and I was happy for the opportunity.  Here is the list of the other reviewers on this tour:

Feb. 10 — Gautami at Everything Distils Into Reading
Feb. 11 — Vicki at I’d Rather Be at the Beach
Feb. 13 — Randi at Bell, Book & Candle
Feb. 14 — Harvee at Book Dilettante

About the Author:

“Luanne Castle has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside.  She studied English and creative writing at the University of California, Riverside; Western Michigan University; and Stanford University.  Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in BARNSTORM JOURNAL, GRIST, THE ANTIGONISH REVIEW, TAB, RIVER TEETH, LUNCH TICKET, WISCONSIN REVIEW, and other journals.  She contributed to TWICE-TOLD CHILDREN”S TALES: THE INFLUENCE OF CHILDHOOD READING ON WRITERS FOR ADULTS, edited by Betty Greenway.  Luanne divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelin.”  (cover)

Joy Street
On The Mountain
Psalms for Troubled Times (Amazon) 

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12 Responses to “DOLL GOD: A Poetry Collection ~Luanne Castle”

  1. Doll God by Luanne Castle Tour Feb. 8-March 7, 2015 | Says:

    […] Stops: Feb. 9: Patricia’s Wisdom (review) Feb. 10: Everything Distils Into Reading (review) Feb. 13: Bell, Book & Candle […]

  2. Serena Says:

    I’m glad to hear that you will pass the book on. I hope that you can connect with it in a deeper way later on or that someone you pass it on to will.

    I did like that you said, “DOLL GOD did touch me emotionally with all the sadness of loss and none of the opportunity or delight explored.”

    Thank you for being on my first tour! I appreciate it and hope we can do more tours in the future.
    Serena recently posted..Mailbox Monday #309My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Your new tour group is exciting and I see some more suggestions in my in box.

    I read this one again a week after writing the post and was still happy to take it to my support group and pass it on, it was taken by someone in the group.

    I hope it will find a good home and reader
    Patricia recently posted..DOLL GOD: A Poetry Collection ~Luanne CastleMy Profile

    Serena Reply:

    I am sure that it will find a good home. I hope that you’ll participate in other tours.

  3. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia — I’m going to take a pass. At 57, with more life in the rearview mirror than remaining out the windshield, I’m only investing time in books that are positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. Books that are effervescent. I do, however, appreciate the review and know there’s a specific audience who will benefit.

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes, there is an audience for all this new poetry and I think the fellow who took the book from support group is going to share something from the book at a local cafe/bookstore.

    There is so much sad, I just need the hope and opportunity too – at least to be able to resolve it myself when I am done reading. After several local poetry readings this year, I have stopped going because I so often feel in a puddle when I leave!
    Patricia recently posted..DOLL GOD: A Poetry Collection ~Luanne CastleMy Profile

  4. Sara Says:

    This book isn’t my cup of tea. Like Laurie, I’m at a place and an age where I prefer more uplifting and hopeful reads.

    That said, I did go to Amazon and read a few of the poems. They are sad, but some are well written…at least to me. I find poetry a very personal journey in words. Sometimes, the poet connects with someone and sometimes not.

    However, as a reviewer, it’s your job to be honest about how YOU react to a book. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve read some really good books based on your reviews!
    Sara recently posted..Look for the SparkleMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes there are some very good lines, and then I was so happy to move on because they just did not touch me I need more happy or hopeful

    I did hear on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, that folks who whine and complain and get it out of their system quickly are usually happier people over time as they let go. So I am thinking maybe the author is very much happier
    Patricia recently posted..SCENT OF BUTTERFLIES: A novel of betrayal ~Dora Levy MossanenMy Profile

  5. Deborah Barker Says:

    I wont be reading this one Patricia – I thought you did a very good review considering you couldn’t truly connect to the poetry. I too need more uplifting material or at least a story to take me away from everything rather than one that draws on my sadness. Well done for persevering with it for the review – now go read something light and inspiring! :-)

    Patricia Reply:

    The Poet Laurette died this past weekend at age 86. I heard a recording of him reading his poem WORK so many times during this day and was so amazed by all the feelings which emerged within me…I would read his work over and over again to hear the story within and feel do deeply and yet….there was a wholeness which contributed to the feelings revealed and left quite a range of taste upon my tongue and thinking.
    It maybe just me – I had to go in search of something else
    Patricia recently posted..SCENT OF BUTTERFLIES: A novel of betrayal ~Dora Levy MossanenMy Profile

    Serena Reply:

    Philip Levine was a great working-man poet! It is sad that he was not more widely read. Another reason I wanted to start my tour company — get poets out in front of readers!
    Serena recently posted..Muscle Cars by Stephen G. Eoannou Blog Tour April 1-30My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I so enjoy reading Philip Levine’s work and will miss his good words.

    We have a poet ambassador in our state, who is touring and sharing her poetry in every county. It is a full time job although our current representative is still working part time in her healthcare career.

    I really enjoy poetry and I so enjoy the many readings we have here in our city by the very talented and also my daily discipline of reading a poem every morning
    Patricia recently posted..SCENT OF BUTTERFLIES: A novel of betrayal ~Dora Levy MossanenMy Profile