Snapshots and Dances by Leslie Prosterman
Garden District Press, © 2011 ISBN 978-1-931002-95-0
I can’t quite put my finger on just what I liked about this collection. It’s not my usual preferred style of poetry, and there were certainly some poems that “did nothing for me” so to speak, but there were many others that struck me, drew me in, and made me experience particular emotions as though I were myself a part of the scene. These poems are as the title implies “snapshots” of life, glimpses into the particular human spirits and psyches of the members of a particular family that nonetheless offer something universal to the reader.
The poetry is, as the title implies, a sort of complex dance. In several poems, the poet has a special eye for scenic detail. The collection is perhaps a bit too stylistically varied and therefore seems to make abrupt shifts, but there is an overarching mood that draws the poems together. The collection is haunting, sad, sweet, nostalgic, and hopeful all at once, and it seems to leave a lingering sense of lost opportunity. Although not explicitly religious, the volume employs Jewish cultural references to root the portrayed family in its specific, personal context.