By: Carol Smallwood
Carole Mertz, author, poet, and editor, has had works published in literary journals, U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and Africa. She is a Book Review Editor for Dreamers Creative Writing; reader of prose and poetry for Mom Egg Review; member Social Media Team, Ekphrastic Review; advance reader WNBA 2018 Poetry Contest. Her reviews appear in such magazines as:Arc Poetry Magazine, Ascent Aspirations, Christian Communicator, Conium Review, Copperfield Review, Into the Void Magazine, Main Street Rag, Midwest Book Review, Page & Spine, Quill & Parchment, South 85 Journal, World Literature Today. Her stories and essays appear in Cappers Magazine, Mature Years, Rockford Review, Society of Classical Poets, Tiny Lights, and others. She has won poetry challenges and contributed to anthologies. Kendra Boileau, Penn State University Press noted: “Mertz is a master of poetic form, imagery, sonority, and wit.”
Toward a Peeping Sunrise is a chapbook divided into three sections: Waking, Reaching, Sailing. Mertz is a master of half-tones and reticence giving the reader ample recognition of her craftsmanship. She paints a view of contemporary society, past and present: the range is comprehensive, vibrating with inner life portrayed with word choices of a poet knowing inner life recognizing the uncertainties in our passages. There is a knowing of the darkness but also of the sunrises while “…searching for a distant view of everything.”
Mertz looks squarely at time and the importance of memories. Her title is taken from a short poem reminiscent of Emily Dickinson, “Waking” which looks at space, time, and “tiny tufts of pure thought.”
The ending of the poem, “That This Blue Exists” is another description of the poet’s generous invitation to journey:
Together we’ll navigate a
patchwork planet, searching
for a distance view of
May this chapbook be followed by others as well as collections by a poet presenting a world that is worth visiting: welding the spiritual and the real. The pages have the hard-won wisdom of a woman with a wonderfully sharp intellect.
Carol Smallwood, Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is a literary reader, judge, and interviewer; her last collection is Chronicles in Passing.