A Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market
by Sonia Greenfield
Codhill Poetry Award Winner 2014
Sonia Greenfield explores menace and loss so often, it’s as if her poems are scarecrows to hold against the night. She likes the lyric and persona, likes telling us over and over again, we survive. A master of the unsettling image and moment, she’s got a big imagination and an appetite for the complexity of our lives. “We always bend / our fear into something more useful.” I don’t know if we do, but Greenfield does. The poems in Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market are more than useful—they are beautiful, and demonstrate once more that art is our deepest response to the fragility of life.
Sonia Greenfield’s vision is x-ray and technicolor at once. These are poems of tragedy and ecstasy, rendered in high music and beautiful and shocking imagery. It’s rare to find a poem “riveting,” but hers are poems that, once started, refuse to be left unread.
In Sonia Greenfield’s poems, we experience a mind busy with the work of description, and it is through that description—of people known and unknown, of lives on the edge of being unmade, or being sewn back up again—that Greenfield brings us to revelation. By looking at the surface of existence, and by narrating circumstances of particular people in particular places, Greenfield shows us how noticing matters, and how looking at the surface can illuminate the depths.