A Sense of Melancholy

Joyce Odam

Sacramento poet Joyce Odam recently celebrated her 80th birthday with the publication of this chapbook, her 11th. Her poems reflect the perspective that only time can really provide; as she writes in “Tapestry,” “I have acquired patience, which is a gift of endurance.” These are gentle meditations on life, with that elegiac quality so often seen in area poets—perhaps there’s something about Sacramento that inclines us to sadness. “Lines,” a lovely poem that deserves a better title, strikes that note of melancholy: “what I know of life / are the sorrows / they are deep and faithful.” But it’s not all a downer—in “All the News is Good,” a poem addressed to her mother, she says, “You were right to be / an optimist.” Copies may be purchased at The Book Collector, 1008 24th Street.