The Store-House of Wonder and Astonishment
With its blend of scientific and theological histories, Sherry Rind’s The Store-House of Wonder and Astonishment speaks of age-old histories through the tender wisdom of the Earth’s animals and philosophers. The varying perspectives of each poem and section solidify an underlying truth: while the vessel for each “voice” might be different, the message remains universal.
Rind is gentle, taking her reader through her thought process. With each poem, Rind introduces the speaker through its title, and the poem’s epigraph acts as a summary. It’s as though Rind sat with each animal and philosopher, considering the depth and genuine evocation in these persona poems. The varying schools of thought, such as Greek myth and fables from the third century CE, presented in this book show Rind’s careful consideration and great respect for these philosophies.
The sentiment with which Rind writes adds to the authenticity of her voice with each poem. “Elephants, Their Capacity” is a perfect opening, with its balance of soft and ancient, the elephant voice decreeing, “we mark the years / of ascending & descending on earth […] you will never speak our language / which is of the earth.”
Though a highly intellectual read, involving different schools of thought concerning the medium of poetry, the collection is still reader-friendly to newcomers to philosophical and literary theory. However, there are folks who would be intimidated by the sheer amount of references made within the book. There are nods to Ovid, Aristotle, the Torah, etc. While not necessary, it certainly enriches the reading experience to have a background in these different historical texts and figures.
Outside of the books intersecting reflections, Rind is also a great poet, akin to Mary Oliver. There is a crescendo in the observing voice, and her imagery is enough to immerse the reader thoroughly inside her poems. For example, in “Dolphins,” there is a warmth in her voice, unveiling the wonders of the world that lie just ahead of us if we only took the time to look.
Ultimately, The Store-House of Wonder and Astonishment is a question of amalgamation. What if our individual beliefs were right in some way? What if we were allowed to take the best of our teachings to combine into something beyond myth, religion, and philosophy? What if pantheism were a synonym for the full acknowledgement of history, for human and animals alike? Rind asks readers to return to a state of child-like wonder to be receptive to these truths, none of which feel forced and are instead a reminder that knowledge is a welcoming power.
|Page Count||113 pages|
|Publisher||Pleasure Boat Studio|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Poetry & Short Stories|