Thursday, 23 July 2009

Of Dreams And Realities

Of Dreams and Realities is a splendid new collection of poems that proves insightful in its reach and elemental in its grasp. This collection is industrious and sly—a bit of hardworking magic in the everyday subtleties of life.

Frank Louis Johnson's poetry is ironic, charming, and sincere. It contextualizes dreams and realities against the broad canvas of reverie and aspiration. His is a veracious world, delightful, authentic and inspired—his poetry sees the glass half full, not half empty, with verses that rhyme and make merry no matter how dark the day or hour. Timeless in their scope, the poems of this, his second full-length collection, are pure inspiration.

I suspected that Of Dreams and Realities was going to be bad when I read the back cover copy: it's nebulous and full of hyperbole and while it does point out that the book is a collection of rhyming poetry, it tells the reader nothing else. Consequently, it fails in its purpose, which is to sell the book to potential readers.

And then I came to the poetry. I found random capitalisations, sloppy punctuation, and all sorts of inversions and clich├ęs. Several of the rhymes didn't actually rhyme; and the concept of meter is abused in every way imaginable. I found my fifteenth problem with the text on the first line of page three (out of just thirty-nine pages) and if I do read any more of this book it will be due to my compulsive case of editorial voyeurism, and not because of my appreciation of the poetry it contains.

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