Reconnaissance is a collection of poems by Anne Higgins and a very lovely one indeed! Her poems are about seeing the world around us and this collection evokes vivid images of the beauty and the harshness around us every day. She writes of birds and gardens and then on the other end of the spectrum illness and death. Her poems take us on a journey through memories of her childhood and later years and we find we are taken away on the beauty of her words.
Anne’s poetry is really about life and all the things in it. I think that’s what really connects the reader to her poetry. There are poems about traffic, the blind spot when you’re driving, and another where she dreams she is Agatha Christie. Still others deal with aging, illness, and family. These are all poems many of us can relate to and for me that’s what is most important when I read poetry. I was able to understand what the poems were trying to relate to me and in that I was able to just relax and enjoy them all the more.
I found the title of the collection interesting and the author explains that, to her, the word Reconnaissance means ‘to know again’. So she says the poems are about knowing things again, of seeing them with new eyes. I always find it fascinating to learn where a poet finds their inspiration and I think that Anne’s perfectly encompasses the scope of this wonderful collection. While I enjoyed many of the poems there were a few that really struck a chord with me and I thought it might be nice to share at least one of them…
If I had a daughter, I would name her Perdita.
Of course, the time when I could have a daughter is long
But that name, the lost one, calls to me tonight.
Like Anita, and Rita, and Jacquita, Lolita, Florita, it is Latin and
but it’s lost, too.
So my lost eggs, long ago shriveled up,
and lost nest, more recently, fried by radiation.
Perdita, your name wouldn’t go well with my last name,
or the names of any of the men I would have married,
but you are the lost one,
the invisible one,
the one I never would have had the patience
to toilet train, to least train like a puppy,
to train like a stubborn adolescent.
Never meant to be be a mother,
today, more than old enough to be a grandmother,
I think of long lost tempests,
Beautiful, just beautiful… Recommended for all those with a love of poetry.