WATER is an impressive book. Halla has written a beautiful, moving portrait of small-town river life — fishing, swimming, rafting, plus lots about islands, marsh grass, mud, wildflowers, the girls of summer and all the rest of the things that lure us to moving water. I thought of Tom Sawyer and his Hannibal buddies — and of Becky Thatcher and Aunt Polly, too. The long title poem is superb, the gem of the collection. — Dave Etter
Here are poems which make a quiet memoir of a childhood and adolescence spent and then revisited on the Fox River. They are full of love, beauty, loss and poignancy. — John Judson
There’s the river of birth and the river of no return. Time is a river. So is life, love, hope. Rivers to cross, rivers to run. You name it … white river, black river, red river. It names us. It finds us: the poet, the painter, the singer, the reader. Every writer loves a river. Thoreau on the Concord, Twain on the Mississippi, Hemingway on the Big-Two Hearted, Derleth on the Wisconsin. The river is in our blood. This is Chris Halla’s river: the Fox. Listen to its song. Watch it flow. Know the darkness and the light. Give yourself to water. His river will carry you home.– Norbert Blei
The highlight is the nine stanza “Water” poem that shows the author’s close relationship to his young life on and near Lake Butte des Morts, Oshkosh, WI. Other poems are about love, girls, and rafting on the river. Excerpt:
“ Every time I touch water, / each time I cross it, / I imagine my kin, / the fish that swim below its surface, / the crayfish that shoot in and out / from under rocks and submerged branches, / the turtles that sun on decayed logs.”
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Water by Chris Halla, 1994, 26 pp. $12 – Please contact Wolfsong Publications via email@example.com if you are interested in buying this chap.