Book Review by James Bourey: Jane Ebihara's A Reminder of Hunger and Wings

A Reminder of Hunger and Wings

By Jane Ebihara

Finishing Line Press 2019

Poetry chapbooks seem to be everywhere these days. While many of these little collections have an engaging, notable poem or two it is the rare exception that is fully loaded with pieces that resonate, that have the stick in your head quality of fine poetry. This little book from a northern New Jersey poet is one of those exceptions.

Jane Ebihara has assembled a quiet, reflective group of poems. They tell of a journey of grief –but never seem maudlin. They reflect on a life grounded in love - but never stray into sticky sentimentality. And these poems are not without humor, a leavening for the serious work of difficult recollections.

This poet pays attention. She pays attention to her surroundings in poems like "The Milk House" as she recalls the lonely playtime of a six-year-old child;

I moved in I was six

apple crate cupboard terry towel on the window

rag rug to cover the cold cement

And these lines from "Night Walk";

where the wild turkey’s strut delighted

tail fanned flamed

Throughout the collection we find details gained through careful observation. We also see a dedicated attention to craft, craft that adds a steady stream of lines layered with meaning and music. The final stanza of Listening to Distant Thunder concludes a fresh view of a sustained metaphor;

storms are like that

picking things up

putting them d