SnowPoems: Book Review

By   Ron Paul Speakes


Rime ice on trees on the Brocken, in Harz, Germany.  By Andreas Tille.  Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License


There is poetry that warms and seduces. That is not the sort of charm you will find in Ron Paul Speakes’ SnowPoems. These poems do not coddle. They cut through consciousness with cool logic. The absence of romanticized embellishment might lead a reader to miss the depth of feeling behind the thought.  Beware.   Feeling will surprise the unsuspecting, with the searing intensity of burning snow, as in

…………………………………..blossom by

Blossom, the alba-like world will flutter

To earth to be gathered in history’s

Urns for the rites that can cut the ties

To Jack’s scattered memory

To Ronnie’s abandoned memory

Speakes explains in his preface that SnowPoems is about the post-WWII era and that the events described are intertwined with snow imagery.  But this poetry is about more than snow, and a specific period in history.  It is about time and human destiny.

The collection is bracketed by a poem at the beginning that references the dawning of the human race, with

Visas to the Levant, to India, China and the

Icy North, to the latent Americas

and another poem at the end that hints of a journey, which continues

…on the slit streets of the Internet…..

Googling, as memory looks at us from the screen

With organs swollen with the longing of antiquity

As they wander through time and space, love and loss, wanderers ponder and ask an oracle

What will become of us? What will become of us?

Snow binds the separate pieces of this collection.   And the pieces are harmonized by another overriding element: sympathy.  It may be a perplexing, even indifferent universe that hosts the human race, but our guide in SnowPoems leads us gently.  His mission is not to describe a destination for our journey.  His goal is to open our eyes and help us see more clearly the path we travel.   In that purpose, Ron Paul Speakes succeeds brilliantly.

I highly recommend Ron Paul Speakes’ SnowPoems.

A. G. Moore     3/5/2017

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