Beautiful lines, harsh realities, absolute truths, and precise images combine in the poems offered in After the Witch Hunt by Megan Falley to create a book that sings in an authentic voice. This is Falley’s first book, yet the originality of the poet shows experience and craft beyond her years. I found myself getting lost in the text, each time I tried to read the book with a critical eye, my mind was drawn in by the artistic beauty of poems such as “Pendulum.”
“Pendulum” is a stark and sad poem, that deals with the suicide of a friend’s sibling, after a night of partying. The poem is formulated almost as a list of the previous night’s activities, common everyday teenage associations (music, dancing, and drinking games). Could have been anywhere, anyone. The first half of the poem gives the reader the sense of normalcy; the tome of the poem turns with the most beautiful passage delivering the truth of the situation, an indescribable horror, with a child like splendor.
“In the morning he thought he could resurrect/ the simplicity of childhood by turning/ himself into a tire swing.”
So impactful is the beauty of the image portrayed that the rest of the poem is an echo of its emotion until the final line- a question posed by the poet that leaves the reader searching for the answer to why someone feels such loneliness.
“When he turned himself into a pendulum, / what became of time?”