Rainflowers, by Marilyn McMeen Miller, is an appropriately immaculate and sun-illuminated volume of fifty-four delicate lyrical verses and poems. It should be read as variations on a theme, without looking for Emily Dickinson’s nerve-galvanizing, spine-rumbling visions, or for the perfect technique displayed in the work of Sara Teasdale, though it may evoke a memory or two of their personal courage and honesty in self-analysis and in the presentation of human relationships either too unsure or too subtle for easy criticism.

The title poem makes immediate appeals to the empathic reader by its skillful sprinkling of rain in the hair, which comes eventually to total baptism in deluge, and then regeneration in the final knowledge that love and wisdom are born in suffering.

After this poem those which follow seem to trace the vine-like theme of love which is secret, ephemeral, or tenuous in its attachments. To make this comment would be beside the point, unless the theme is responsible for the muted voice and over-careful management of poetic language in certain of the poems. “Rainflowers” is not a commonplace poem, nor are any without an appeal of one kind or another, though some seemed fragile.


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