Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guest Review -Observations & Conditions

I thought holding the first copy of my own book in my hands was a pretty exciting experience. But it just keeps getting better. I am making new acquaintances and getting new ideas and things to read. One of those new acquaintances is another aspiring poet with some real life experience, Marshall Armstrong. Marshall hails from southern Minnesota and has his own website: marshallbutcharmstrong.com. He was kind enough to read my poems and send me a very nice review.

What Marshall has to say about my poetry collections:

Painting pictures with words is not something easily done, nor is it often done well. But you have nailed it! That said, I have a confession. I didn't buy your books. I borrowed them... I read them both today and was very impressed. Some of your poems remind me of some of my own. The visuals you create are very real. Everyday things that we think, see and feel are brought forward. I could see the old house with the Asters and feel the pride of the Soccer Dad. I'd like to make one suggestion if I may. In Conditions, the photography is excellent. However, I wonder if it would work better if the photos matched up with the poems a little better. Perhaps a picture of dew on grass for "Dew" or a field of dandelions for "Dandelion" etc.

"Shed" is one of my favorites. It instantly reminded me of places I played and things I did as a child. "Honeysuckle Highway" is another. The use of sight and smell, especially smell, is very powerful. I have never been fond of Haiku. Often times people choose words simply to get the syllables right. I didn't see that in yours. It was very good.

Well, wish me luck. As soon as I have enough material I'm going to look at publishing. My work seems a bit darker than yours. I look at Social Issues that affect all of us, and sometimes those issues are not so pretty. I try to balance it out with stories about my dog or nature but I think some things need to be talked about... I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read your work... Thanks

Marshall "Butch" Armstrong

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