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Amber Porch Light Paperback – August 23, 2013

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Amber Porch Light + Guinevere in Baltimore (Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: WordTech Communications (August 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1625490437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1625490438
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,936,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Book Review: Amber Porch Light by Gina Ferrara

Light is the protagonist of Gina Ferrara's powerful poetry collection, Amber Porch Light. Hinted at in the book’s title -- and its three section titles (Aglow, Burnished and Candescent) -- light is thoughtfully sourced to different effect in nearly all of the 16 or 17 poems within each section.

In Aglow, the poet delights not only in the "harbingers of light" revealed in "craved fruit not found in Eden," but also in the "spectrum of gems" of an ordinary kiwi and the "darkest shade of sunset" inside a typical blood orange – not to mention the "pink melee" of flower petals collected by the "rusted tips" of a metal rake.

There are poems illuminated by vast frescoes, while others are "lacerated" by "moonlight" in "degrees of tint" with a fair share of "necessary darkness." In the poem, "February Eclipse," light and darkness actually seem to lust after one another when the sun "mate[s] with the moon" in this "aboriginal legend." In other poems, light ignites during an "epic sleep," sparking "dreams of autumn" with the "brightest hues of olives" and "violet." Try as you might, you simply can’t "ignore the translucence" of these carefully lit poems.

My favorite piece from the book, "Double Helix," comes from this first section. I especially enjoyed this stanza, which seems to brag almost about a special knowledge born necessarily in the absence of light:

My fingers know the difference
between crumbs and dirt.
The print at this hour is small
but has not started to melt
like the ice cream
we had yesterday.
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