My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Oklahoma, more often than in any other place, everything is a symbol; can’t help be anything but–milkweed, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wild geese, sky, chickens, coyotes, cows, iambic pentameter, sonnets, pronouns, (even Dylan Thomas here) Fort Cob to Anadarko, Binger to Cache, Albert Camus, yep, monarch butterflies, too. Whether it grows here, flies in, or stumbles in, it is something. Sam puts it this way, “Of course you must use the unrelenting wind and the heat and the cold, the dust storms, the blue northers, the tornadoes…and do it in the rhythm and inflection that Bob Dylan picked up from Woody Guthrie and exaggerated.” In Wild Songs: Love Joy and Loss, Sam reminds us of all that.
Over the years, I have heard Sam McMichael’s poems in venues around Oklahoma and wondered if ever a book was in the works. If prayers are ever answered in Oklahoma, that one has been.