Book Review — Rhyming Ballads

Rhyming Ballads by Michael McNeilly

Rhyming Ballads by Michael McNeilly is a short collection of poetry written in rhyming couplets. McNeilly has spent his life working various professions including working in the civil service in the 1960s, working for textiles firms in the 1970s and, more recently, working as a laboratory technician at a grammar school. Michael has always enjoyed writing poetry and has been doing so since 1976.

Rhyming Ballads is a cleverly written collection of poetry written about historical, legendary, and mythical beings. The rhyme scheme brings credit to the work. The rhymes are do bring a smile to the reader’s face, but without a hint being cheap or tacky. There is even a rhythm to the words while reading the lines that keeps the reading smooth. The subjects of the poems range from Eurydice and Orpheus and Robin Hood to Emperor Julian and Frederick the Great. There is history and myth and even a touch of religion.

Although based on history and myth, the reading is light and can be enjoyed by anyone, historian or not. A great collection for those who think poetry isn’t fun or entertaining. McNeilly does a fine job in composition and subject matter, even more so considering his background. A fun, lighthearted read that can be picked up and read at a random location whenever there are a few minutes to spare. A worthy read for the poetry and the subject matter.

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