Reverberations II is a book of haiku poetry by author Charles E. Rawlings, M.D. J.D. It consists of over fifty poems each paired with a photograph with the intention that they balance each other and be two halves of a whole. The theme of the book is individual response to the poems in order to alter the vibrational patterns around the reader and improve their life journey. Mr. Rawlings explains that all our actions, including our thoughts, are part of quantum mechanics and are made of vibrating waves that can be changed or elevated by any activity, such as perceptions of things like these poems and accompanying images.
Reverberations II is a poetic experience I found to be very creative as I went about creating links between the haikus and their accompanying images. The idea was to expand my mind when I deciphered the connection between the images and the verses as they come together to locate a hidden idea, which is a very interesting and challenging way to read. In the verse Harmony (Of Contrasts) the focus of this book was described especially well: “Lines, Curves; Black, White; Spring, Winter, Merging Energy.” Color stood out to me as a feature as most of the pictures were of the natural world and buildings shown in stark sharp colors—lavender, teal, black and white, silver, pale yellow. Charles E. Rawlings captured for me just how interactive a book of poetry can really be. I was able to create my own story, in part, in my responses, while still keeping close to the framework of his original intent.
Just Her Poetry: Seasons of a Soul by D.L. Finn is a full-length book of poetry with high literary quality. It is divided into two halves, one about the healing beauty of nature and one about relationships and emotional situations. Part One—Just Her Poetry--talks about the seasons of the year in the spectacular scenery around the author’s home and contains a short set of vignettes called “Musings from the Back of a Harley,” detailing the thrill of motorcycle rides around the countryside. Part Two—Seasons of a Soul—explores emotions like sadness, hope, and insecurity in the face of destruction from human behavior and natural forces. There is also an area of poetry inspired by or excerpted from D.L. Finn’s other books, including a memoir, and some poems about the holiday season.
I really enjoyed Just Her Poetry: Seasons of a Soul. Rich in content and daily reality, the poems built on each other within each section to take up where the other poem left off. Much like writing chapters in a book of prose, D.L. Finn’s poetry is sophisticated storytelling. It grew in little images gradually to tell a complex story—a novel in verse. My favorite section was “Musings from the Back of a Harley,” a completely unique, distinct set of poetry where sharp edges of words brought the excitement of riding a motorcycle into verbal motion. Thought-provoking depth about the fragility of life appeared in other areas of the book, as in a series of poems (“Fire,” “We Wait,” “Wait,” and “Red Flag”) where fine writing brings the experience of living near forest fires into visceral, vivid clarity. Including some poems that connected into Finn’s other writings added more layers and was excellent for putting this book in context.
Braid: Poems and Thoughts Selected by Anna Tegner is a collection of intelligent and emotional pieces by Pierre Sotér. The book brings together poems from three of Sotér’s works (Dawn, Emotions and Emoções, and It May Be Better) to form a good composite of the ideas he expresses throughout his poetry. The message is a quest for philosophy and reason, combined with acceptance of the reality that there’s more to life than we can find with just our intellects. The collection has many layers and reflects the nuances and dignity of a searching mind examining life. “Life dawns in the worlds we dream and lives in the moments we will remember,” is a beautiful fragment from this book and delightful little gems appear throughout.
Pierre Sotér’s writing is noteworthy. It is gentle and sensitive yet packs a heavy punch of honesty and purpose—an uncommon combination. I was involved in each poem as an individual entity. While many books of poetry have an overall theme which all the poems reiterate, those in Braid: Poems and Thoughts have their own personality, distinct and visualized. Each one its own story. Reading this book was like reading many tiny books in one. The tone was often sad, but also joyful when describing love and curiosity about the world, those moments that make life special. Singing rhythms of undiluted ideas harnessed into words propel this book forward and that is just what poetry should be. Standout moments include the wistful painting of a bygone time in “Barren Crags,” “Singing in Wonderland,” “Turning Still,” the insightful “Bereft,” and the witty, imaginative “Taking Off.”
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.