By Sally Zakariya
You don't have to like bugs to enjoy
Insectomania, the new book by poet Sally Zakariya. Billed as "Poems,
Pictures, and Choice Words about Our Six-Legged Friends and Foes,"
Insectomania is a small gem, lavishly illustrated with 19th-century
naturalist engravings and studded with wise and witty sayings about
Zakariya admits she wasn't "one of those kids who spent hours in the
backyard with a magnifying glass studying bugs." In fact, she says in
the book's Introduction, she isn't particularly fond of insects, at
least not most of them. But, she asks, "Who can fail to be moved by a
life cycle that starts with years of grubbing, followed by a short span
of mating, and then death. Rather like our own lives, writ small."
And that's where Zakariya's wry but thoughtful poems take off. Like them
or not, in her poem "Likeness," she concludes of insects
And yet the cunningness of their
construction, the clever play of
part and purpose, merits admiration.
Zakariya's poems and articles have appeared in numerous journals, most
recently in Third Wednesday, Evening Street Review, Theodate, and
Review. A collection of her poems, Arithmetic, was published in 2011.
Her poetry has won prizes from the Poetry Society of Virginia and the
Virginia Writers Club. With an eye for the quirky illustration, Zakariya
has designed and self-published illustrated alphabet books on food,
literature, and anatomy. She lives in Arlington, Virginia, and blogs at