DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, GIVE YOURSELF A TREAT – A WONDERFUL POETRY FIX,
I suppose you could say that I am a member of an if not dying breed, then most certainly a lost one. Or, to put it another way, if you will, a strange sort of critter. I am one of those people who was not only raised on poetry, but have been an avid reader and collector for well over sixty years now. I set here in my cave (which I and I alone, refer to as my `home office’ – My wife refers to it as “The Black Hole of the Ozarks”) and scan the dozens of poetry books on my shelves which leads me to my first remark. This little reading machine I finally broke down and purchased (my Kindle) has opened up an entire new and exciting world for me as far as poetry goes. I am able to find and acquire small collections from poets I have never heard of before but of which have added a great deal to my reading life. This small volume of about 90 poems most certainly falls into that category.
G.W. Jefferies has pretty much covered the entire range of human emotions with his short and at time somewhat terse poems; terse with feeling. It is difficult to describe the overall feeling of Jefferies’ work but I will take a wild stab at it and call it “pragmatic irony.” Pretty vague, I know, but it is what I feel as I read through these selections.
Like any work of poetry, to be truly good, it must be able to connect with the reader in some way. I must tell you and tell you truly, that the poet made that connection with me (the reader) in all but about two or three of his offerings here. Time and time again I caught myself saying, “hmmm, which I had said that.” I suppose that the only poems in this or these volumes that did not speak to me was when Jefferies address anger. This I suppose, is because first, I don’t get all that angry most of the time and secondly, when I do, I manifest my anger differently…two different people here you know.
Not all of these poems are what I would call happy reads, but then again the author has approached his subjects, as I said, in a very pragmatic way – “it is what it is,” comes to my mind. I liked the way the poet could jump from theme to theme yet leave the reader with a feeling of continuity. I loved the way the very short poem “Rocket Man” was answered with a later poem “All I can Grasp.” Weather this was a conscious effort on the part of the poet…I know not, but it certainly worked!
If you love poetry (and you probably do or you would not be reading these reviews), then give yourself a little treat and order this one up. You are in for a couple of hours of nice reading and the words will give you something to chew on and think about for quite some time.