Book Review: Her House and Other Poems

Her House and Other Poems by Donna Marie (Pitino) Merritt

Her House and Other Poems by Donna Marie Merritt is her fourth book of poetry. Merritt lives in Connecticut and is also the author of fifteen award winning children’s books.

Merritt has a knack for connecting her experiences in such a way that you can relate to them on the same level. I see her turtle in “Rescued by a turtle” sliding off his perch into the water in the pond on my ride to work. She captures the little things and simple things we all see and put away in the back of our minds until her words brings them back. The read will say, “Yes, exactly, I know that place.” or “I know that exact feeling.” and makes the reader wonder if he or she was there experiencing the event.

There are also the less pleasant things, like people knocking on your door soliciting their version of God or those annoying TV contestants who all have a perfectly happy well adjusted families and not “My spouse is lying, lazy loud jerk…” Or the times we need to pretend that everything is okay.

There are plenty of good times recorded in Her House. From a nice glass of wine, to making do in a power outage, and personal memories. Merritt has very unique ability to capture the ordinary and replay it back as extraordinary. Her previous two books that I have read, Job Loss and What’s Wrong with Ordinary are excellent, and here her newest is just as well done but with a wider variety poems, not limited by a theme.

Her House is a perfect book for a day at the park (even in the Texas summer heat) or a lazy Sunday afternoon. Merritt has become one of my favorite contemporary poets. Her observations and ability to retell her experiences are amazing. I am very much looking forward to her next collection.

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