Mackey, Mary, “Sugar Zone: Poems”, Marsh Hawk Books, 2011
A Journey through the Human Heart
“Sugar Zone” is my first experience with Mary Mackey but it is certainly not going to be my last. Mackey gives us 62 beautiful poems that are deep yet totally readable. Each poem is a thing of beauty that is passionate as she takes on a journey of the human heart. There is something very earthy in the writing yet there is also a lyrical quality as the poems sing themselves off of the pages. The rhythm carries the reader to places he may never have been before and the words are powerfully chosen and therefore powerful.
Mackey’s own life experiences in Brazil are evident here and not only by the use of phrases in Portuguese. This collection comes to us in four parts and through the poems we meet the themes of love, chaos, uncertainty and death. I wish I knew Portuguese even though it I not necessary to an understanding but I am sure I would have gleaned even more than I did. But that should not be a barrier to anyone as there are translations of the phrases in that language. For me, there is something about reading a poem in the original and I guess this comes from my work in translating Hebrew poetry into English.
I love to feel what I read when I read poetry and I do that here over and over again. I tempt you to enter Mackey’s sugar zone and taste the sweetness there.