Common Ground: Poems

John Daniel, Author Confluence Press $0 (62p) ISBN 978-0-917652-56-1
Daniel's environmental concerns are evident in his first collection of poems, most of which are set in the realm of nature. More than mere depictions of the earth and its creatures, the verse is a celebration of and communion with all natural phenomena. The author covers terrain ranging from mountain and stream to desert, employing mundane, physical imagery and a gentle tone. Most poems are narrated in the first person, and the author's voice is an integral part of their landscapes, whether he is observing or participating. In ``A Year Among the Owls,'' the owl not only possesses a consciousness beyond its understanding but ultimately provides Daniel, who obtains self-affirmation through sensitivity to nature, with a vision of his own transcendence: ``When it comes I hope it's at night / in the fields, a sudden shadow / against stars. In the grasp / of that vision much clearer than mine, / I'll rise with my fading light / in the great silent motion of wings.'' The poems lack technical innovation and emotional impact; nevertheless, the respect and love with which the author views the natural world, and the meticulous care with which he depicts its elements, imbue the volume with depth and insight. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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