Stargazer by Rachel M. Patterson is a short collection of seventeen poems and illustrations.
Often, I search for the story beneath any collection but Patterson’s debut reads more as a foray into the craft rather than a journey. Consequently, Stargazer deals with a myriad of subjects – from Eden, to the night sky, to unrequited love. Patterson reveals her loves and her many colours in poems like ‘Spiral’, ‘Innocence Lost’, ‘Dawn’ and ‘A Mother’s Love’, whilst painting glorious scenes in ‘Ancient Garden’ and ‘Lunatic’. She also strips her soul raw in heart aching pieces like ‘Something’.
However, Patterson has a penchant for rhyme which I felt stunted the potential of some of the work in this collection. The strict focus on structure and rhyme meant some of Patterson’s images and word choices felt contrived. Although this is my personal taste, I adore the freedom poetry can provide and I felt that at times Patterson drew an end to pieces when she could have kept on running.
Thus, Stargazer is a collection which reflects Patterson’s growth as an artist and a poet. There is no denying the burgeoning possibility and potential already blossoming; so I hope Stargazer is just the beginning for Patterson.