Sacrifices Have to be Human
65 Poems/ 101 Pages
Reviewed by: Ed Bennett
A reader expects a good book of poetry to have a theme. Reading the individual poems,
one pieces together the words and imagery to find the poet's vision. Sacrifices Have
to be Human approaches this from a different viewpoint. These poems of love and loss
are intertwined with each other, juxtaposed against each other to form a web of emotion
that surrounds this poet's world. The poems are conversational in tone and lean away
from the usual pyrotechnics of language that sometimes erupt in other collections.
At times, the poems form a linear progression of images, as in "Perched Birds"and
"Something Forbids Pleasure" where the images of birds and women seem to dominate the
poems. At that point time seems to reverse abruptly with "Ã Widow in the Window"moving
toward "Five Stages of Grieving" to "Woman Walks Four Hours After Giving Birth". The
story of our human condition is portrayed by a widow's grieving silhouette framed in
the solitude of her home to the general description of grief to the wonder of birth.
One is reminded of Janne Teller's quote "From the moment we are born, we begin to die".
Sacrifices Have to be Human is an eclectic collection of poems that are at once deeply
prophetic yet searingly intimate. The poet, ellen, is an artist as well, as is seen in
her colorful descriptions of her environs. She has the ability to present both the
familiar as well as her own vivid imaginings of her inner world. This is no easy feat,
but she carries it out superbly.