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Echoes in My Eyes

Author: Kelly Sargent

Publisher: Kelsay Books, March 2024

 

Sold on Amazon US and on www.kelsaybooks.com

A poignant book that belongs on Everyone’s shelf.

Reid Hepworth reviews 'Echoes in my Eyes', a collection of poetry by Kelly Sargent

Echoes In My Eyes is a collection of narrative poems that celebrate resiliency, the power of love, and the ability to communicate against all odds. The poems, laid out chronologically, propel the reader on a journey into the inner lives of identical twins - one hard of hearing, the other Deaf.

 

Echoes in My Eyes realistically unfolds the twins' experiences, from the daily challenge of having to navigate life in a hearing world without adequate support or understanding, to bullying and trauma. Through her beautiful poems, Kelly invites the reader to feel the twins’ connection, a bond so great it transcends every hurdle thrown in its path - each met with creativity, determination, respect, and humour.

 

This is a book that will stay with me for a long time on a number of levels. On a personal note, as a child, I attended a school that was part of a community integration project with the Jericho Hill School for the Deaf. Many of my childhood friends were part of that project and I know how challenging it could be for them. Echoes in My Eyes brought some of those memories back. This book is about so much more though; it’s a wonderful testament to the power of love and connection.

 

Here are a few favourite excerpts:

 

Her Voice

 

The ten tiny fingers she must have clenched

that would one day be

her voice…

 

Handheld Voices

 

Four tiny, identical hands

sculpted a language without sound,

rich with revelations, exclamations, declarations,

and the curious questions of hearing-impaired twins in three

              countries.

 

Weaving in the Dark

 

Each day, while California tilted towards the sun,

a signed language spun textured fibers

and wound them into vibrantly-coloured threads

to weave the rich fabric of a shared, quilted childhood.

At bedtime, though,

the light left us,

and darkness made us mute.

 

 

Rumors of Spring

 

I watched you play in teal-tinted rains,

and marveled as your auburn hair

absorbed autumn’s last dusk.

You were named as nature had promised.

 

And soon,

with rumors of spring made real,

You

bloomed.

 

 

Seeing Voices

 

Sometimes,

I slip away to my mirror in the bedroom

to see her nut-brown eyes gazing back at me.

I press my palm against the cool glass,

just to touch her hand again.

 

 

Echoes in My Eyes is an evocative, poignant book that belongs on everyone’s shelf. It should be required reading for parents of children who are hard of hearing or Deaf. This review is just a taste. One needs to read it to fully experience its loveliness.

About the Author

Kelly Sargent

Kelly Sargent is a hard of hearing artist and award-winning writer adopted in Luxembourg, now living in Williston, Vermont. She is the author of an award-nominated memoir in verse, entitled Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion (Kelsay Books, 2022), and Bookmarks (Red Moon Press, 2023), a collection of haiku and senryu poems. Other works have appeared in more than eighty literary journals internationally. She has written for a newspaper for the Deaf and hard of hearing community and worked with Deaf students in education. She serves as Creative Nonfiction Editor of The Bookends Review. Visit www.kellysargent.com to learn more about her.

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