by Jane Timm Baxter
1994-2000, by Five Corners Publications.
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Jane Timm Baxter
P.O. Box 276, Auburn, GA 30019
reviewed by Monica J. O'Rourke
Awaiting Fullness is an interesting collection of poetry, and you have to give the young author credit for putting herself on the line, for taking chances with this book. Self-publishing is always a risky venture. In this case, the book is in need of a more thorough editing, perhaps by someone who understands that entire books should never be printed in bizarre fonts, fonts that are so distracting that they steal attention away from the very words of the collection. This font might have worked for the short introduction, or the titles of the individual poems, but not for the entire book. A good editor will also pick up on grammatical errors, such as the misuse of your/you're and its/it's, and the occasional misspelling.
Clearly, this is a young woman sharing what she believes to be her deepest and darkest feelings. In her intro, Baxter says, "...let me remind you wonderful readers that this collection of poetry is extremely dark, and therefore, occasionally graphic or just plain disturbing", and you know that she is proud of her words. Still, I was expecting to see that she'd opened a vein and had poured her life's blood into every syllable. It seems a standard teenage belief that the constant use of the word "fuck" would be considered disturbing to her audience, and this is not the case in these poems. _Disturbing_ is not an adjective that I would choose to describe them. _Tame_ comes to mind.
The poems, told in chronological order, from 1994-2000, begin as pastiches of teenage angst, with recurring images of death and Hell. They lead into more solvent poetry, perhaps losing a bit of the bleakness, the dreariness as seen through a child's eyes. But the majority of the poems are only fair. Many, particularly the sonnets, read as though the poet scribbled out long lists of rhyming words and then assembled them without any true understanding of the words. Still, you can see the progress in the poems from one year to the next, and as she matures, so does her writing.
Overall, I think this is a writer still searching for her niche, and I think she's well on her way to finding it.