I'm a freelance writer & poet; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page' from tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
Peggy Harwood is an American poet from North Carolina, but in her book 'Snippets of Life', she shares her travel experiences across the Swiss Alps, streets of Vancouver, and 'old England town'.
By covering a wide range of topics such as homelessness, relationships, and nature, Harwood explores the human condition through dreams, memories, and reflections on her life.
The book is divided into three sections: free verse, rhyme & rhythm, and the Japanese form of haiku & senryu. Although I sense that she most appreciates the controlled form of haikus - the ability to convey so much with so little is an impressive skill to master - it is her free verse poems that stand out the most. Her use of enjambment is second to none, creating effective pauses but never once jarring or losing pace. One of the best examples of this is in Tainted Monday Night', where one word lines create the same sense of frustration as she feels when 'loud/rowdy/vulgar curses' from outside, interrupt her peaceful evening.
Harwood does have a tendency to overuse exclamation marks, particularly in her rhyming poems, which can deflate the impact somewhat. The attempt at humour in some of her seasonal poems such as 'Catherine's Beer', also lacks the sentimentality of Harwood's more personal poems. I would rather read about her time growing 'Four Tomato Plants' than I would about Santa Claus.
This, however, is made up for in the final section of her work, where haikus such as 'Sandy' explore the force of nature and the effect it has on human lives.