By: Enne Zale
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: December 2021
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: December 29, 2021
A poet looks back on a failed attempt at love and recounts the many ways that it has affected her, even as she tries to forget and move on, in this stirring collection by Enne Zale.
In a brief introductory free verse piece, Zale avers that “my poetry has no chronological order.” Thus, the reader may understand that her thoughts are randomly spaced, before, during, and after a blighted love affair. There is a sense of confession here, injecting a tinge of abuse as she speaks of “a bubble-wrapped girl, who was unboxed too early.”
Against her better judgment, she recalls, she chased after a shadow, a shadow that made her feel “more radiant.” At one point, dealing with her depression, she urges herself to “Get up,” but then retreats again into the comfort of staying down, so she won’t have to try again. She wisely observes that if someone leaves you once, “They’re sure to walk away again,” and notes the paradox that:
“Learning to trust
Is finding warmth in a flame
And hoping you don’t get burned.”
Recollections of the happy times are peppered through the sad ones, as Zale thinks, “If it’s you, I’d do it all again.” Once, on a page illustrated by a swinging bell, she even poses this seemingly optimistic outlook: “Why reminisce on bad times, when good memories ring louder?”
Zale’s main intent seems to be to give voice to darker discouragements we have all shared at times, no matter what the root cause. She has become “skeptical of beautiful things,” and even on a “normal day of simplicity” her mind wanders back to the way that her one-time lover made her fearful. She boldly announces, “Just because you KISSED me, doesn’t mean you OWN me.” She wonders sometimes if the one who betrayed her ever has such feelings. She considers taking pills that “numb the mind.” She meets someone new, but still thinks bitterly of her abandonment. Importantly, she wants her “mommy and daddy to never know…” arousing that suspicion of youthful maltreatment by an older person in the memories she so carefully, intelligently shares.
Enne Zale is a pen name, to disguise a young woman who is pursuing a college degree while serving in the United States Marine Corps. Her gift of poetic expressions - crafted mostly in free verse with some deft internal rhyme scattered throughout - will doubtless evolve and increase to serve her well in future times. The fans she gathers do not need to know her identity until she is ready to disclose it; they will be satisfied to appreciate her empathic words of love lost and lessons learned.
Quill says: Enne Zale’s Convalesce is a wide-ranging, memory-tinged aggregation of poems providing solace, sympathy and even some mild amusement for anyone who has ever walked in her shoes, and will doubtless make them wish for more of her outpourings.
For more information on Convalesce, please visit the author's Instagram page at: instagram.com/ennezale