So, Stranger is the third collection of poems by Topaz Winters and my first foray into her work, so wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, which in some ways creates a fresh perspective to new eyes.
So, Stranger deals with so many issues, from immigration, racism, sexism, family, bonding, loss, and loneliness that one of its main achievements is doing so with such a precise clarity that it doesn’t overwhelm the pages. Yes, there is definitely anger within the words, but it is justified anger, this is a woman observing the braggadocio of a president supporting sexual violence towards women, and even as I man I completely appreciate and understand, albeit from my own perspective, feeling sickened seeing that person on television boasting and undermining what so many had fought for decades past.
From the start I did feel there was a sense of loneliness, maybe feeling out of place in modern America maybe, or maybe frustration that some people don’t understand that just because someone may look different it really means nothing. From the start I did gain a new perspective on immigration today which is a topic all countries have to deal with; however, this is the first time, I think, I’ve ever honestly thought about such things from the perspective of the other person, and what do people really think of us? I dare say I’d rather not imagine as I doubt it would be too complimentary. In these respects, So, Stranger is a book everyone really should read to gain not only a new perspective but an understanding that just because someone looks different, we should never judge.
Looking back on her own childhood, Winters takes us through the monsoons of India to her family arriving in America and their own life there, the trials of being a teenager and the ongoing rebellion against a parent, which many of us can appreciate and in doing so So, Stranger starts to feel less like a book from the outside to feel like a personal friend.
- So, Stranger by Topaz Winters is published by Parthian Books ($10.00). To order a copy go to buttonpoetry.com For UK purchases blackwells.co.uk (13.50)
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com