The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words





We are made and unmade by those we love: expectant white backdrop against which shots are fired at a distance.

In a world with a divorce rate north of 50%, it feels sort of refreshing – in a darker way – to read about the tragedy of innocence lost after a wedding day. Kristina Marie Darling’s Vow is an honest inner-monologue where our speaker almost immediately feels trapped by her own vows, in a burning house full of locked rooms, with a partner unseen, and a white dress that no longer holds the metaphor it should.

What does a white dress actually resemble? Fallen branches. A dead hummingbird. You watch as it hesitates on the cusp of otherworldly.

The “wedding-should-make-us-better-but-didn’t” syndrome in short sentences. The use of white space, and only a few lines per page, gives an even more stark feeling to the loneliness explored in this collection. There is a constant wish for our speaker to escape the burning house, to regain innocence, or even to find the partner lost within the locked room, but most of all, to discover a sense of self somewhere in the space between wedding dress and fire.

Darling has written a very powerful look at what many of us have understood as truth.


My white dress smolders in a locked room.

But I am always —

Grab your copy of Vow, by Kristina Marie Darling, at BlazeVOX.

I can no longer recall

the weight of that dress on my shoulders —

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2014 by in Book Review, POETRY BOOK REVIEWS and tagged , , .

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