We had the experience but missed the meaning. -- T.S. Eliot
There is poetry that speaks to the head but never touches the deeper recesses of the heart, and there is poetry that massages the heart but does not really challenge the probing and questioning mind. There is poetry that is so abstract that the seeking soul can become lost in an inner or historic maze, and there is poetry that evokes and awakens, in a tender and suggestive way, the deeper longings of the human soul. Wings Toward Sunlight is poetry of the latter kind. But, there must be an inner quietness and attentiveness to receive the insights offered.
Wings Towards Sunlight is, indeed, about wings and sunlight, but it is also about how the messages and ikon of nature can probe those places that definitely need such kindly and gracious probes. Wings Towards Sunlight is divided into two welcoming sections: 1) There Must Be Something and, 2) We Grow Faces. It is significant that Anna Yin begins this collection of poetry by quoting from Emily Dickinson. The quote, if heeded and rightly heard, prepares the reader to receive the poems being offered. ‘The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience’---so says Dickinson. Yin is bidding the reader to, in a meditative way, leave the soul ajar so, in the best sense, there will be an outgoing of the soul, wings of the soul spread wide to receive the light and warmth from the sun.
Wings Toward Sunlight, in a delicate and sensitive manner, threads together the more mature approach of western romantic poetry and the finest touches of eastern nature poetry-----there is a sort of meeting and marriage of Taoist nature poetry and aphorisms with the most accessible and vulnerable forms of western romantic poetry. Yin explores, in her gentle manner, the subtle nuances of love, memories of sadder but deeper experiences of love and living with the soul scars of loss. Most of the poems are replete with the speech of nature. The searching quality of ‘There Must Be Something’, like a trailhead, walks the attentive reader into what it means to desert the sterile ethos of hiddenness and ‘Grow Faces’. I was reminded of Lewis’ Till We Have Faces in the final section of Wings Towards Sunlight.
Wings Towards Sunlight is a poetic missive that is best read slowly and attentively. Each poem is an exquisite journey into the sanctuary of Anna Yin’s hospitable and embracing soul. Many are the instructive experiences in life, but, as Eliot realized in The Four Quartets, the meaning of the experiences are often missed or misinterpreted. This is certainly not the case with Anna Yin and Wings Toward Sunlight. The light and life held out to those that receive the insights offered will reveal our true faces that are always there if we but allow them to appear.