I was delighted to discover that my collection of poetry, “Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems” has received a further 2 reviews on Goodreads.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this poetry collection, which has immersed me into a vibrant universe of scintillating humour and alluring melancholy
simultaneously. The bold contrast between the sections “Light” and “Shade” has particularly fascinated me, being reminiscent of the chiaroscuro technique
used by Renaissance artists to accentuate the beauty of their paintings by incorporating the dichotomy of lightness and darkness into their masterpieces.
Kevin Morris has demonstrated exceptional poetic artistry in combining humorous topics with serious themes, such as profound contemplation of human life’s
inevitable evanescence and immortalizing one’s beloved in art.
I would also like to applaud the author for his thoughtfulness and brilliant decision to add footnotes, describing the references he used throughout the
book. An ardent lover of literary allusions, I have particularly enjoyed the poem “The Weather Was Chill,” where Emily Dickinson’s “feathered hope” makes
a flamboyant appearance. It was also my pleasure to find a playful verse referencing “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” which I highly admire.
As Kevin Morris would say, indulging in rhyme is not yet a crime, so don’t hesitate to read his excellent poetry!”.
(For the review please visit, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3412806912?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1.
“Section 1 – Love, Nature and Time — comprises poems on themes familiar to those acquainted with Morris’s poetry. The atmosphere is almost uniformly somber,
with occasional touches of wry humour. Appreciation of nature is inevitably paired with awareness of mortality. Desire is of the unfulfilled variety, with
overtones of irony, as in “Escort (an Acrostic),” the final poem of the section.
Similar poems are grouped together; thus, we have five poems featuring autumn leaves and four that mention wind. They are all brief, but almost seem like
different versions of a single poem.
The best of the serious verses have a roundness and a satisfying trajectory. “I Saw a Great Bough,” for example, and “The Sun’s Light Ends in Night.” Others
limp a little. For example, “The Point of Poetry.” “Why must I / Attempt to capture / Every rapture / Or simple pleasure? / The weather / Is there to be
enjoyed, / Be it fine or wet, / Yet.” To my ear, the line “Is there to be enjoyed,” is a bit too long and breaks the rhythm. But perhaps this is intentional,
since the poem’s final line mentions “a poor rhyme.”
Several poems at the end of Section 1 mention the effects of Covid-19. “The Pubs are All Closed,” is the most obvious example, as it expresses regret for
a lost sense of community, even though “girls in short clothes” continue to “go by.”
“Do Good Men Count Sheep?” is interesting. It contains yet another ambiguous reference to women – or rather, to “girls” – who appear often in this collection
as passing by, being glimpsed, or being unavailable.
Section 2, Humour, is considerably longer and a departure from the serious. In fact, many of these short, limerick-like verses are goofy, zany, and downright
bizarre. Here again are groups of similar verses; for example, the set of ten under the title “Miss White.” Each one features a lady by name of White in
a different situation. Many of these verses display a spirit of gleeful naughtiness in keeping with the limerick tradition.
While the limericks adhere to the AABBA rhyme scheme, I did find problems with the rhythm in some cases. Too many syllables in a line causes unexpected
jolts, as in “There Was a Horologist Named Sue.” I must admit that incorporating the word “horologist” into a limerick is a challenge, so perhaps I should
not be too critical.
Quite a few of these short poems are clever and funny. I particularly enjoyed “A Young Lady from France,” “Concrete Poetry,” “Hall’s Ball,” and “There
Once Was a PM Named Boris.”
“Physicists Say” returns to the philosophical, but with a lighthearted tone. Another poem that departs from the limerick form is “Poetry and Prose.” It
neatly sums up a poet’s thoughts about his art.
I recommend Light and Shade to anyone who appreciates short, thoughtful poems. Readers may dip into the serious side if so inclined, or skip over to the
Humour section for a smile and a giggle.”
(For the review please visit, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3412237891?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1).
“Light and Shade” is available in paperback and Kindle and can be found here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B37VVKV/.