Charlotte Renk's latest book, Solidago, is a metaphoric scratchboard that turns into an illuminated manuscript. Her concept of using weeds as a focusing device is inspired; we overlook and dismiss them, diminish their value. Charlotte, though, makes us look through the darkness of the background, makes us scratch for meaning, and assures us, again and again, there is something to be admired, always something that is green.
It's no accident there is a constant mention of being green. This book is Charlotte's work at its strongest, most multi-layered, and most defiant. Even as she questions, again and again, why some plants are overlooked, disregarded, and regarded as common, she states, again and again, in wonderful extended metaphors, that life is full of value and joy, regardless of how it is named, regardless of the titles we use.
Alan Lee BirkelbachPoet Laureate of Texas, 2005
I have long been a fan of the weed - that underdog; that beautiful, rugged life; often questioning how certain blooms could ever be viewed as a nuisance. There is a longing in Charlotte Renk's Solidago: An Altar to Weeds; a need unfulfilled; a pungent sadness in our great search of the soul; a universal desire to transcend the world's labels; to become the wildflowers that God already knows we are.
Karla K. MortonPoet Laureate of Texas, 2010