This simple yet elegant collection of poetry contains 26 poems that explore the central question, "Who is Christ?" The opening poem asks the reader, "This simple yet elegant collection of poetry contains 26 poems that explore the central question, "Who is Christ?" The opening poem asks the reader, "Who is this man / Whom outcasts love, / Fishermen follow, / Pharisees hate, / And demons obey?" The rest of the volume is spent answering that very question, as the reader receives glimpses of Jesus as "Carpenter's Son," "Dance Master," "Diadem," and "First Light," among others.
Stylistically, the poems are free verse, and although they do not employ a large number of literary devices or a great deal of rhythm, they communicate their messages with a stark and uncomplicated beauty. These poems are best digested at the rate of two or three a day, perhaps as an addition to devotional reading. Teresa's poetry has previously appeared in the pages of the old, printed Ancient Paths, as well as in Ancient Paths online, and we congratulate her on her latest publication. ...more
This collection of verse exhibits rich imagery, softly flowing rhythm, and occasional gentle humor. The volume contains an eclectic mixture of poems aThis collection of verse exhibits rich imagery, softly flowing rhythm, and occasional gentle humor. The volume contains an eclectic mixture of poems about love, sex, nature, children, and life. My favorites were "Survivor," "A Blessing on my Middle Child," and "My Father Shows Interest in My Poetry." An enjoyable afternoon read. ...more
When I was 10 or 11, I used to draw down some old-smelling hardcover book of collected poetry that sat on my parent's bookshelves and read this one paWhen I was 10 or 11, I used to draw down some old-smelling hardcover book of collected poetry that sat on my parent's bookshelves and read this one particular ballad over and over and over again - out loud - when no one was around. I think it was the one poem, more than any other, that made me fall in love with poetry. ...more
This is a collection of children’s poems that attempts, I think, to be in the same vein as Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. The illustrations are dThis is a collection of children’s poems that attempts, I think, to be in the same vein as Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. The illustrations are decent enough. Unlike many indie books, this one does not suffer from extensive typos (although one poem, “My Shadow Gave Me a Dirty Look,” does appear to be missing a line). The rhyme is consistent, but the meter of the poems does not always flow perfectly smoothly. The humor is not sophisticated. Rather, these poems have an imitative quality to them that just misses the mark for me. “Bargain?” for instance seems to take an idea from Shel Silverstein’s “Smart.” This really isn’t a bad collection at all; it’s just that, when you are accustomed to reading Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky, you immediately notice the difference. The author seems to do best with the shorter poems (“Dance Lessons” and “Nickname” come to mind.) If you have a child who is looking for more poetry, and has already blown through the best, this might be something to add to the collection. ...more
This collection starts with poems about a disintegrating relationship (or relationships?) with strong hints of infidelity. The tone is weary and sad aThis collection starts with poems about a disintegrating relationship (or relationships?) with strong hints of infidelity. The tone is weary and sad and the poems are dripping with imagery. The verse gets over heavy after awhile - a single poem with such themes has a strong impact - but poem after poem can seem a bit much. This may be part of why the poet advises readers to read only a little at a time, which is rarely a bad idea with poetry. Just when I thought the tone was too overwhelming, though, a semi-humorous poem lightened the weight. And then things grew dark again....There's more vinegar than wine in this collection.
The verse is modern, somewhat informal, and well written, but sometimes the poems seem slightly inaccessible. The poems have a story-like quality, with characters, setting, and hints at a backstory. They are written mostly in first person. The collection is divided into sections each symbolized by a wine, with tasting notes, that I presume represents the tone of the section, though the connection was not always that clear.
I can perceive the quality of the poetry, even though the style and theme were not precisely my personal cup of tea. I'm sure many other lovers of poetry will appreciate these verses. There are a few f-bombs in these poems just to alert anyone who is bothered by that sort of thing; generally they are not gratuitous and the context is right.
Note: I received a free copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review....more
This book was categorized as “humor,” but it has pretentions to seriousness. If the publisher’s note and forward are any indication, it’s meant almostThis book was categorized as “humor,” but it has pretentions to seriousness. If the publisher’s note and forward are any indication, it’s meant almost to be used as a personal spiritual devotional for your own “aha” moments. I think this would be best described as a collection of short poems about coffee. The collection consists of 140 “tweets,” which means the thoughts are 140 characters or less, but this I think, when done well, is a type of modern poetry – and for about half the entries, it is done well. Some of the entries did cause me to chuckle (that’s where the humor classification comes in, I suppose), but many more are earnest, and a few really were quite poetic. I do love coffee, and I love coffee shops, but I guess I don’t love it enough to want to read 140 short poems on the topic over and over again. This might make a decent coffee table book, if it were available in an affordable hardback edition.
Note: I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ...more
This collection is self-described as an "iconoclastic cacophony in words." While the poems are indeed characterized by an attack on established beliefThis collection is self-described as an "iconoclastic cacophony in words." While the poems are indeed characterized by an attack on established beliefs and institutions, I fortunately didn't find the "sound" of the verse to be harsh and discordant, though I did sometimes find the poems to be abrupt. The poet admits "there is no unifying theme, and these poems don't hang together" and then questions "What does?" It's a clever way to preface a hodge podge of poetry, although many of the poems do in fact share a common theme: literature.
Whether offering a paean to Dickinson, questioning the sincerity of Keats, praising the originality of Larkin, or reflecting on how Shakespeare "scattered words like gems and dice" thereby "burrowing through cheese like mice," the poet spends much of his verse in commentary on the poetry of others. In some respects, Motley Chaos is occasionally like a brief, metrical (sometimes rhymed) volume of literary criticism, with more opinion than analysis. The poems aren't particularly subtle, but they are well structured in blank and rhymed forms. The book is an easy read, if one can ever call poetry easy reading, though it will have a limited audience.
This is not a book for fans of Dylan so much as it is a book for students of poetry. You need to be a fan of Dylan, yes, but that is not nearly enoughThis is not a book for fans of Dylan so much as it is a book for students of poetry. You need to be a fan of Dylan, yes, but that is not nearly enough. To enjoy this book, you probably have to be a fan of classic poetry, very well versed in Dylan's lyrics, someone who has read the Bible and is aware of basic religious concepts, and a person who is interested in literary criticism. Which is to say that this book has a very limited audience.
Visions of Sin is not overly academic, but there are moments when it does seem a bit pretentious. The author constantly inserts Dylan quotations into the flow of the text (without quotation marks), and it's sort of a fun game at first (aha! Spotted you!) but it soon begins to seem over-the-top and self-indulgent. There are gems in this book, but you have to dig through all the rambling. If you don't have an interest in poetry in general, you'll quickly get bogged down, as he doesn't just analyze Dylan's lyrics, but verse from everyone from Milton and Dryden to Tennyson and Larkin. Usually he does this in the context of Dylan's writing, but sometimes I feel like he's just throwing in bits and pieces from old papers for the heck of it, even if it doesn't quite relate. ...more
This was published posthumously, as, I believe, was Shel Silverstein’s first collection of poems (Don’t Bump the Glump), and I am glad to have a chancThis was published posthumously, as, I believe, was Shel Silverstein’s first collection of poems (Don’t Bump the Glump), and I am glad to have a chance, as an adult, to read two more books from the pen of my favorite childhood poet. In many ways, Runny Babbit is a typical collection of Shel Silverstein poetry, but with two differences from his norm: they all deal with the same central character (Runny Babbit), and the letters of some words are switched.
I read this together with my daughter, and she enjoyed “decoding” the poems for a while. I thought it was a good exercise in phonics and reading for her to try to figure out what the words were supposed to be. She could do it about 60 percent of the time on her own, and the other forty percent of the time I’d nudge her with “switch the __ and the __” to help her along. After a while, she got tired of this exercise, and I began reading the poems to her more quickly “in translation,” as the words should be. I think if you read them as they are written, it is too hard for a kid to get the jokes within the poems themselves (though some kids will simply laugh at the joke of silly sounding words), but if you do the switcheroo as you read, many of the poems are actually quite clever of their own accord, and several have the trademark Shel Silverstein funny twist. (I especially liked the one where Runny Babit’s friends left with chicken pox.)
Reading this book requires more effort and interaction than is typical for our nighttime reading, and I probably would not want to do it again, but as an exercise in thought, and for the general quality of the poems, I give the stook four bars. ...more
This reminded me a bit of an older work, I believe from the 1950’s, that my Uncle gave me as a child, called The Google Book. Both are a collection ofThis reminded me a bit of an older work, I believe from the 1950’s, that my Uncle gave me as a child, called The Google Book. Both are a collection of rhythmic poems about invented creatures. Although this collection didn’t rise to the level of Shel’s later Where The Sidewalk Ends, my daughter and I both enjoyed it. There are some clever moments, great “sounds,” and it was fun reading. ...more