Embracing Change

Paul Thomas Keenan

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 53 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781499081688 Reviewed: February, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

This collection of 44 short poems looks at nature and country, in addition to the author’s general observations about life. Conveying an attitude of hopefulness, these rhymed and unrhymed pieces are presented alphabetically, rather than thematically or chronologically, which produces fragmented glimpses into the poet’s mind.

The dozen or so poems devoted to simple, everyday subjects, such as fleeting romance, football games, and special moments, engage readers by offering a simple, unpretentious perspective on life. For instance, in “The Mirth,” the author presents an enjoyable slice-of-life observation to which most of us can relate: “Leisurely chuckling/ In the middle of the coffee shop/ In a town not so unknown/ A nonchalant indifference/ To ones [sic] surroundings/ A welcome,/ To others in the coffee shop / To join in the mirth.”

Likewise, in “Rumors,” the poem effectively compares an onslaught of gossip to a ferocious storm. “The pounding of the shower on the tar and gravel roof/ I watched with little comfort or warmth/ In awe of the marveled feat/ At all of nature’s strong armed force- as I stood fast to my feet.”

Unfortunately, the majority of poems tackle more complex and abstract subjects in a superficial way. Topics covered include the importance of patriotism, beauty of nature, and passage of time. In addition to the lack of depth, awkward construction, forced rhyme, disregarded meter, and punctuation errors lessen the impact of these poems.

An even greater distraction are the incorrect word choices and improperly used parts of speech, which take away from the poetic sensibility of the collection: “The heart has an enjoin [sic]/ from the mind”; “A two toned rose/ Of white cream and red-/ Bestowed,/ Reflexes [sic] beauty of the truest of hearts”; “Oh how the storm did leveled [sic] down”; “He had an arch menaces” [sic].

Some of the poems here show promise, but without thorough editing for style and content, the readership for this book may be limited.

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