ArtsUnæan Feature Publication


I recently had the pleasure of reading Esther Garber’s Vieques Poems. While I’ve never been in Vieques, reading this rich collection of poetry transported me there where, from Esther’s graphic descriptions, peace and calm are intricately interwoven with human and nature’s goings-on.

 Esther’s poems range from the light-hearted like “Folding Clothes with a Leaping Kitty” to the serious like “Earth” and “Humans.” She captures small details (“cold coffee/cold cream”) and the consequential (“humankind has scarred the earth”), the observable (“shiny tiny houses”) and the philosophical (“Why then do we have wars?), the quiet (“tiny yellow butterflies/. . . gentle yellow truth”) and the noisy (“Wham bam/Trash can”).

Some of her poems tell little stories, like the one about the foal who would have died had not human care and a “new mom” saved him from starvation, and the one of her encounter with a barracuda while snorkeling.

Through all, Esther’s keen eye for detail, well-tuned ear for sounds, alive sense of smell and taste, awareness of affect, and spiritual reflections infuse her lines with life. She draws the reader into a search for meaning and a pondering of our human greed, untidiness, arrogance, and very limited perspective.

Enjoy! Reflect! Revisit!

- Betty Good-White, Poet


Esther captures the essence of Vieques in these 20 selected poems - the variety of life forms, the on-going search for balance between delight and despair. The topics are familiar to those of us who have come to know and love this island - the roosters & chickens, horses & humans, cats & dogs, barracuda & iguanas, butterflies, birds, and coquis, barrios and businesses.

I hear Esther’s voice in these poems - pleading, rejoicing, questioning, reflecting, enjoying, celebrating. She has the insight to bring topics common to most everywhere on earth, into a very focused, personal view of what is uniquely Vieques.

These selected poems will appeal equally to those who are curious about Vieques as well as those who have been here many years. Esther’s keen ability to observe, along with her gift of putting those observations into words, allow the reader to truly hear, see, feel, and understand Vieques. Her poems could easily lure new-comers to Vieques, to encourage them to see this island through the eyes of someone who experiences it on a deep level.

Esther’s use of repetitive words and sounds mimics beautifully the rhythms of this island. Everyday occurrences, depending on the perspective of the observer, can be magical, miserable, magnificent, or minuscule. Her poems express the contradictions of life, using images such as clouds and pebbles, and express the essence of what makes Vieques unique.

- Julie Culhane, Musician and retired Teacher, Northampton, MA and Vieques, PR


Vieques Poems by emgarber is available:

in print......................$6 USD / $7.50 CAD

or eBook format.......$4 USD / $5 CAD




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