cover of book

As If a Song Could Save You
by Betsy Sholl
University of Wisconsin Press, 2022
Paper: 978-0-299-34074-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3569.H574A9 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

Blue sky, yellow flowers, cool jazz, and Renaissance poetry all inhabit Betsy Sholl’s latest collection of poetry. Grounded in the everyday but never mundane, these poems remind readers of the wonders that surround us. From a child’s drawing tattooed onto the arm of a mechanic to bats under the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin, Sholl points to the richness of life.

As the volume carefully and slowly immerses us in the poet’s world, we gradually begin to understand that this is our journey of exploration as much as hers. Where does one find joy in the face of loss? Why does music exist in a world of grief? How long does it take love to overwhelm pain?

Through these powerful poems we learn to see past the unreliability of memory and into the depth of the present.

The child makes you a blue inch at the top of the page,
and it’s still hard for grown-ups to think you come
all the way down to the space between grass blades
—Excerpt from “Dear Sky”

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