Monthly Archives: August 2020

Poetry Review — Shades of Nature

Shades of Nature: a collection of poems by [Lesli Johnson]

Shades of Nature by Lesli Johnson is an independently published poetry collection.  The poetry in this collection is easy to read and rich in imagery.  The poet follows a form for each poem, and where there is rhyme or near rhyme, it seems natural and unforced.  In fact, the only thing that seems forced in the collection is the alphabetical arrangement of the poems. Much of the poetry has a comfortable feeling to it.  It is nature poetry that is complete in itself.  There is no contemplating deeper meanings or hidden thoughts:

As the lake shimmers
by the light of the moon
the lovely swans float
and the bluebells bloom.

from “A Whisper of Bliss”

The image formed is complete and straightforward.  There is no wondering “why bluebells?” or “what do the swans represent to the poet.” In a way, it is like a Bob Ross painting.  Uncomplicated strokes that create something more than the sum of the actions.  Along the same lines, people ask if Ross was a great artist.  The answer is no, he was more of a pop therapist. His work helped people; he calmed, soothed, and took people away from whatever was bothering them.  Johnson’s writing works in the same way.  She writes happy little poems.  They are uplifting and satisfying and will appeal to a mass audience, but in fifty years, students will not be dissecting them in literature class, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Not everything needs to be high art.  Sometimes all we need is a casual diversion from day to day life.  A refreshing read.

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