29 April 2017

Book Review: The Jubilee

I've not written many book reviews in recent months--certainly not on pace with the number of books that I have read. But I would be a poor friend if I didn't tell you about this one.

I wish I could tell you where I encountered the poetry of John Blase, but I cannot. What I can tell you is that someone, for now unnamed, shared his poem "Actually, Scratch That." Though I do not remember the giver of this gift, I am grateful because Blase's poem captivated me. A quick Amazon search showed a book of his poetry, The Jubilee: Poems (Bright Coppers Press, 2017). I immediately ordered his book having no knowledge of the book, or its author, based on 14 short lines.

Blase's poetry did not disappoint. Good poets have eyes and ears tuned to creation's details. As Blase wrote, "the poet notices the world's curves." They are gifted in teaching their readers to take notice.  Blase certainly accomplished that in The Jubilee. At several points, I needed to stop and ponder what he wrote, not due to complexity, but because he fosters a creational awareness so well.

An unfortunate truth is that many people avoid poetry, finding it confusing, boring, or perhaps overly sentimental. As a poetry lover, I am never sure where to direct those who might have a spark of interest in poetry. Mary Oliver is certainly good and so is Wendell Berry, yet if I am to be honest, this might well be the first book I recommend now. It is both accessible and fosters sacred wonder.

I will look forward to more and if they never arrive, I shall cherish these.

If love is for real
and not just a word 
then show me.
I know you're frightened. 
I am too. 
But that is the feeling
imperfect people
always have as they
row closer to home. 

No comments: