Reading poetry is a lot like eating fish – it’s either great or terrible. It’s either Robert Frost and his two roads diverging or it’s a high school literary magazine all over again. The glory of Paul Homer and his latest collection of poems, Impressions From A Curmudgeon, is that he can fall right in the middle.
Paul Homer’s Impressions come from his own life and experiences. In some of his more prominent poems, he lifts pages from his work as a lawyer, where he also provides pro bono work for the poor of his hometown of Chicago. He writes about his involvement in the Second World War, his faith, biblical characters, and provides poignant impressions of aging and what’s it like to be inside of the process.
Some of his poems feature a fantastic rhythm which picks readers up and whirls them to the end of the poem in a journey of wonder. But some of them plod along and must be trudged through to turn the page. It is worth it to read all of them, however. Even the poems which aren’t at the top of the poetic class leave something memorable behind.
Someone said of this book that the best part of these poems is that they are comprehensible. But the reader is missing the heart of poetry when a poem can be fully understood on the first read through. Simplicity is something to be seldom embraced when it comes to poetry. It needed be convoluted, but it should have layers of meaning and something deeper. That is where Impressions stumbles. It spends its time on the surface of life, but what it does is certainly done well.
This poetry collection is available at Amazon.com.