History by David O’Hanlon is his first collection of poetry. A quick search finds little information on the poet but his publisher is from North Yorkshire.
This is a very readable collection of poems covering mythical, historical, and personal history. The historical and mythical blend well together in the larger first section of the book. O’Hanlon certainly has an appreciation for the Greek and Roman mythology and history. Unlike many specialized poems that seem to concentrate on the subject rather than the form, O’Hanlon finds a balance. Likewise, his subject specific poetry does not lose the subject to the form of poetry. Nothing is worse than finding poetry on a topic you like, say bicycling, and find beautifully written lines that are technically wrong in practice. Here, O’Hanlon achieves perfect balance. I had the advantage of reading the Kindle edition of this collection so I was able to highlight the title name and refresh my memory on the god, hero, or historical person being written about. Most names were familiar but the nudge did help me and O’Hanlon’s words play a perfect tribute.
The personal observations are equally well done. In the poem, The Line notes items that make lines — wires from headphones, a crack in a mended statue. One item is different:
My name is in pieces. It has been for years. Since I abandoned cursive, in fact.
History is an outstanding first collection of poetry. It triggers thinking in its subjects and the words gently pull the reader in. Learning and observing as an art form. Extremely well done and earns a very rare five stars from me.