I received an advance copy of Wanda Deglane’s Lady Saturn for review purposes. As always, this review reflects only my honest opinions on the book.
Lady Saturn by Wanda Deglane
Publication Date: February 2019
These personal poems traverse the backdrop of what it means to be born into chaos, to feel unwanted and unloved, to be constantly seeking and attempting self-discovery, to struggle to sleep with a racing mind or to defeat depression and anxiety with the help of a pill that makes her brain like her ‘mother’s old microwave, / constantly short-circuiting and casting the whole room / in darkness.’ Take this quest through beautiful, lyrical stanzas and vivid imagery depicting pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, and a deep yearning to land softly at a place on the verge of inner acceptance and love, just the way you are, seeking that happy-go-lucky soul you once inhabited.
“Sing to us of her who wears violents on her breasts. Sing especially of her who is wandering.” ‑Sappho
So begins Lady Saturn, with an epigraph that truly encompasses the spirit of this chapbook. I actually went into this review thinking I’d pick a favourite poem to quote from and go from there. However, picking up the book led to every few poems becoming my new favourites, and I quickly abandoned that task.
These poems intertwine the utterly human reality of trauma and mental illness with an indescribable, ethereal quality that makes even the crushing of a spider beautiful. Reading through these poems is like hearing Wanda’s voice, disembodied, speaking to you through the pages. It’s a wonderful experience
Lady Saturn starts with an image of birth–“you were born screaming.” It then glides through life and death just as easily as it does time and space. Here I can’t help but reference the cover–the imagery (shown above) is a beautiful complement to the pieces housed within.
This is a lovely collection that won’t take long to read. But it will stay with you long after.
About the Author:
Wanda Deglane is a night-blooming desert flower from Arizona. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and attends Arizona State University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and family & human development. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming from Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, L’Ephemere Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda self published her first poetry book, Rainlily, in 2018.