Ann Carbine Best – Amazon Reviewer

5 out of 5 stars If you love great poetry, I’m confident you’ll love this collection. Other reviewers have summarised the intriguing evocations of childhood and then the adult persona who has become, in a way, a child again as she thinks about her experiences of a lifetime in England and Africa, places that in themselves resonate with me emotionally, not because I have ever lived in either of these places, or even been there, but because of the history associated with them. Those poems are fascinating as are all of the others especially because of the sensory images Ms. Carr uses to draw us emotionally into each poem. Only a poet as skilled as Ms. Carr could write poems that capture times and places in such a way that they become universal. Skilled in associational movement and concrete imagery, she draws me into the poem in such a way that I feel as if I’m, for example, the “teenager, consumed by a religious fervour” or the “princess, dazzling, beautiful / where the hot bellied dragon / gazes in awe at the sight of her.” These are only two of the poems where Ms. Carr exhibits her skill with free verse. I was also impressed with her rhyming skills that reminded me of the great poets Robert Frost and Richard Wilbur. The rhymed poem I especially like is the delightful “Writers’ Weekend,” with its apt Dickensian allusion. For example, the following stanza: “Huddled by the fire we shut the door the fuel in the bucket’s growing less. Oliver like, I dare to ask for more but, sad to say, with just as much success.” I especially smiled at the last line, which ends in surprise, a surprise enhanced by the fact that it stands alone and doesn’t rhyme with anything before it. Form enhancing meaning. I’m still smiling. EVERY poem in this collection begins in delight and ends in surprise, as every great poem does. Great poems are also those you can read again and again and experience something new each time. There is so much to enjoy and ponder from the narrative flow, the vivid imagery, the wry humour, and the interesting characters that include the poet as she shares with us a lifetime of wisdom and discovery. I’m very glad I have a print copy of Kaleidoscope, as well as a copy for my Kindle. I encourage anyone who loves poetry to get this in any form. I hope Ms. Carr will write more poems, but if not, there are her children’s books. I especially want to read Candle Dark. Such an intriguing title.