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Gilleland Poetry: A Book Review


For me, poetry is often too obtuse and difficult for me to get into. Whether it is the abstract metaphors, or difficult line structure, I end up struggling more than I would like to. And if I struggle too hard, I don't stay with a book of poetry very long.

Some poetry, though, finds a way to wade through the muddy brack and pour out a clear, clean glass of poetic water. Harry Gilleland, Jr., is one such writer of poetry.

Gilleland has recently written two books-"Gilleland Poetry: Storoems and Poems," and "Bob the Dragon Slayer" (a short novella). "Bob" is an engaging read, funny at times, and enjoyable to any person of any age who wants to spend an evening or an afternoon in a world of knights, dragons, and damsels who are rescued from despair.

In his other book, "Gilleland Poetry," the author sets out to engage us in his ponderings of the intricacies of life. We think, feel, laugh, and cry as Gilleland tells us the truth about life in poetic or "storoem" form. (A "storoem" is a "hybrid between a story and poem"-a story told in poetic form.

Gilleland's goal is to provide his readers with poetry that makes them think, but he also wants to be an entry point for those who don't enjoy poetry. As such, his poems are very readable and accessible to all who would pick up his book.

One example of his style is the poem, "The Epiphany," which is about how inner change is much more momentous than a mere epiphany might suggest to us. We should be careful of making strong declarations of change, and make change more of a journey that we progress on each day.

"Again the wife was told that he was working late. / In truth his night was spent in heavy drinking and / in whoring, ending at the beach passed out in the sand."

The poem then relates an epiphany the man experienced, seeing the error of his ways, and he declares to God that he should be struck down dead if he is not truly a changed man. The poem ends thus:

"His body washes up on the shore later that same day. / 'Some shark sure surprised him. Wonder why he was / swimming here anyway?" the coroner was heard to say."

Gilleland's poems and "storoems" teach us simple but profound truths through the clarity of his style.

You can find out more about Harry Gilleland, Jr., and his books at http://lulu.com/harry.

Jeremy M. Hoover is a book reviewer and writer in Ontario. To request a review, email him at jeremyhoover@gmail.com, or see how he can help you market your writing by visiting his website, http://hoovermarketing.info/contentarticles.htm


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