Muted Serenades: The Collected Poems by Frank Dillon is a collection of poems influenced by other poets. Dillon is a practicing lawyer but outside the courtroom, much of his writing to date has been in the field of comedy. His lifelong passion, though, has been the writing of poetry. His work uses transparent language and a variety of forms to communicate a wide range of themes.
This collection is divided into four sections. Across the sections, I was impressed with the author’s use of color. Dillon captures color as a source imagery. He discusses color on a painter’s palette. Three shades of gray to which most people would seem the same but there is a difference to the artist making them different and important. Gray is a word used throughout the collection and Dillon makes a strong association with the color and cold, stone, and near depression.
Grey is countered by yellows, greens, the sun, and nature. There is an explosion of color when needed. This is the strongest point in the collection. Simple observations filled with vivid colors. His attempts with rhyme are overdone and seem amateurish. This, however, may or may not be a part of capturing another poet’s style. The poems on relationships are hit and miss. His nature and seasonal observations make up for the mishaps. “The Window that Overlooks the Garden” is an excellent example of Dillon tying everything together.
“Driving At Twilight” is an eight-part poem that is the centerpiece of the first section. Capturing the twilight– gray turning to black interrupted by the yellow light of evenings glow. There is a beauty that is disturbed by advertising, signs or the radio, promising empty grandeur.
It’s difficult to tell
Where this road might lead
Under sodium lights
At the close of the day
A solid collection of poetry that could have been better edited, but the where the poetry worked it shined.