Love is ephemeral. To stop and appreciate each moment of our memories — the “now” moment — and the future of love in all its myriad forms describes Sarah Stern’s poetry. In “A Spring for Einstein,” for example, we read the personification of love, “All matter returns to energy/Faint light trolling through the universe/Open the window by your bed/Watch the curtains lift/That breeze was once you.” Yet amidst this beauty lies the juxtaposing, ever-looming presence of suffering and death that must be accepted as part of loving. In “From the Journal Entries of Sergeant Anthony Jones, Age 25,” Jones writes that he knows he will be killed due to inadequate equipment and no parts to fix the trucks while his grandmother stares at his picture with anger, thinking the right order is that she should have gone first, an age-old feeling that is no less potent with love no matter how often heard. A child’s questions in another poem focus on the possibility of an afterlife, quickly followed by the child’s total engagement in the wind and speed of a bike ride, a loving, thrilling experience in itself. Sarah Stern is a poet to watch and relish.
Another Word for Love
Deborah Schoeneman, is a former English teacher/Writing Across the Curriculum Center Coordinator at North Shore Hebrew Academy High School and coeditor of Modern American Literature: A Library of Literary Criticism, Vol. VI, published in 1997.
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