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Song of the Wayward Wind and Other Poems
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128 Pages
ISBN: 1-4116-2343-6
Song of the Wayward Wind
...and Other Poems by
Margaret Havill "Mandi" Reid

SONG OF THE WAYWARD WIND and Other Poems - Paperback (Feb. 9, 2005) by Margaret, Havill Reid
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My Review of Song of the Wayward Wind... and Other Poems by Margaret Havill "Mandi" Reid

Yes, this is a poetry book but if you look deeper, it is also an art book with beautiful womanly illustrations and verse straight from her soul. In her poem, No Sinner, Margaret says, "I am no sinner, any more than you. We each of us, make do, as best we can To compensate for inequalities Bequeathed us from our genes, as any man..." ending with perhaps...The dye was cast unfairly from the first, That makes our best like someone else's worst." Who but a loving teacher would grade the best and worst "equal?"

In her poem, Could it Be then, God? - - we got it wrong? She leaves us with the question of whether we as sinners misread the Ten Commandments. "Had we as humans...misread the message encoded in your parable of Sin?"

In her poem, That Apple, she describes, "That apple thing. It just won't wash, our time. For her one bite, we're all cast into slime?" I get the feeling she was not just talking about just Eve in the Garden of Eden; but about most of us women who are tempted to forsake our core values to stand equal among men. Margaret was highly motivated in equal rights for women.

In her poem, The Coming of Wisdom, a 13-year old girl is as eager as she is afraid of morphing into woman. The girl wonders, "Shall she romp on skates and swings or lean on the arms of kings?" I feel both were questioning why most of us girls are taught to lean on rather than support our men. In this day and age, so many of us women have to be strong to support our men who are unemployed or overseas at war.

In Ode to Wisdom, Margaret' romanticizes about young maidens with enlightened souls from Time's slow mill, Still speak through scrolls and books to waiting hearts; their inspiration breathes; their fires still blaze...Inscribed her songs of love. We hear them still. For where she walks, her music ne'er departs."

In My Face Margaret festers about aging, "O Aphrodite, were you kind as fair, and turned a furrowed face upon the world and hailed all wrinkles signs of beauty rare and evidence of wisdom yet unfurled, What misty lovers now would crowd my face To find the fount of beauty, love and grace?"

One of my favorite paintings is Chagall's, The Village, and Margaret pays homage to this painting in her Ekphasis Poem, Chagall, "Come then Chagall and occupy our skies, Set merry fiddlers dancing on our roofs...As sea-green cows, it seems, somnambulate as easefully as images in dreams. Your skies, Chagall, bring magic to the mind to make us see where intellect is blind." Check out Chagall's painting at [...]. An Emphasis poem is what I like to call...a conversation between two works of art, the poem and the painting.

The title of this book and poem, Song of the Wayward Wind, was named Poem of the Year by the Central Coast Poetry Society in 1993 and is making a comeback with my favorite lines describing a darkened forest, "...You knew the time before my father's time, and my father's father keeping your peace, keeping our secrets, still."

Margaret ends her 128 Page, 8-1/2x11 Poetry & Art Book, with Unexpected Gifts, "New ways of thinking unwrap, never then despair" This is absolutely gold for those who enjoy poetry and abstract art that is wonderfully illustrated by Margaret Havill "Mandi" Reid. Smooth and easy reading. FIVE STARS for Amazon.

Reviewed by Joyce White
Sculpting the Heart Book Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Margaret Havill "Mandi" Reid (1936-2004) was an accomplished artist as well as a prize-winning poet. Although her real love was Sculpture (for many years, she served as president of The Sculptors' Society), she was equally at home in all other branches of Art, particularly in oil painting, black-and-white drawing and watercolor. For Poetry, she won more major prizes and Commended certificates than would cover an average wall. Yet although she enjoyed the respect and adulation of other poets and artists, Mandi did very little in her lifetime to promote her own work. Instead, she spent most of her boundless energy promoting the work of others by arranging exhibitions, giving interviews to the press and generally advancing the twin causes of Poetry and Art with both the general public and the media. Shortly before her death, she was finally induced to put together an anthology of of her most famous poems as well as a number of her own personal favorites, such as her "Poem of the Year" awarded "Song of the Wayward Wind", and the following year's Second Prize Winner, "Yarramalong Valley". She illustrated her poems with pen-and-ink drawings and a few monochromatic watercolors. She died before the book was actually published, but it serves as a lasting memorial to her twin passions of Poetry and Art.

No less than 90 of Mandi's poems are included in this book's 128 large-format pages. The poems range from the humorous to the serious, from the political to the picturesque, from the religious to the advancement of women's rights. There are 70 illustrations, ranging from the admirably realistic to the forcefully abstract. A word of warning, however: 30 of the drawings are abstract or surrealistic nudes, and some parents may find them unsuitable for children.
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