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Unsung Songs
By: Sharmagne Leland-St. John
43 pages
30 poems ~1 prose piece / $9.95
ISBN: 0-9764244-0-1

Published by Quill and Parchment Press
A Division of Quill and

Review by:
jacob erin-cilberto


Are you sitting down?  You might need to be if you read “Unsung Songs” a book of poetry by Sharmagne Leland –St. John.   Ms. Leland-St. John says, "Poems are songs without music and frequently a song which will never be sung to the person it was written to, or about, or for.

This book is a magical autobiography in poetry that will knock you down with its impact.  The poems contain variance in style, theme and tone.  The wonderfully sarcastic “I Said Coffee” will make you smile with its tongue-in-cheek humor. The poem begins with “i said coffee/ i didn’t say,/  ‘would you like to cup/ my warm/soft breasts/ in your /un-calloused,/ long/ tapered/ ringless fingered/ hands?’”---and just keeps getting better and more sardonic from there until the wonderful twist at the end.

Michael will bring a tear to your eye with its forlorn glow: “quiet now brooding/I wonder where your thoughts have been” and “moods are always changing/just like the English weather”---probably like most of us find our moods changing.

“Unsung Song to Ron” from which the book derives its title, will grab your gut just where it hurts most, the heart of it. “I’m the one…/ to gently ease your pain/ The one who’ll try through silence/ to win your love again.”

“Goodbye” is an eerily sad piece which expresses that sentiment we have all felt when losing someone who is so close to us we have felt a part of them and them a part of us.  “Heartache here I come/ make
way for your newborn son.”  Now a piece is missing, but not from this wonderful poetic ride.  Just as on a rollercoaster, we laugh, scream, cry and yell as we read this offering from Sharmagne that is sure to be a ticket to a very strong emotional journey that will have you pondering the works long after you have put the book down.

In “Poetry of Lies” she says “You filled my childhood/with your poetry of lies” but in this book the poet fills our hearts with the “poetry of truth”!  The admission was well worth the enjoyment of reading something that on many levels I could relate to so well.  I strongly suggest this book of poems and thank the author for writing it so I could “ride” with it.

jacob”erin-cilberto  has been writing poetry for over 35 years and has published 8 chapbooks including “Penguins and Other Matters of Black and White” and his most recent “Fast Food, Slow Mind”---he has published in numerous journals and small magazines including: Café Review, Wind Journal, Skyline Magazine, Voices, Pegasus and Parnassus.  He teaches poetry workshops for the Heartland Writers Guild and for the Southern Illinios Writers Guild and currently teaches English literature and composition at John A. Logan community college in Carterville, Illinios.

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