Book review: Grace Notes

Book review: Grace Notes

Grace Notes by Brian Doyle

Chicago, IL: ACTA Publications, 2011

Some of Brian Doyle’s prose, in this collection of his musings and essays, comes pretty close to my concept of poetry.

Doyle is so particular, and so deft, in choosing the right words to frame his mood, his awareness, and his imagination in so many examples.

Try this excerpt from “Their Thin Bony Shoulders.” Doyle was invited to tell some stories and otherwise talk to nuns in their Benedictine monastery in Oregon. Among other subjects, he told them about “my mama.”

“And I stood there at the lectern, in that cavernous room in that lovely old monastery, with its cedared air like music in the nose, the extraordinary faces of the nuns held up to me in the twilight, and I tried to imagine or articulate or conceive a world without my mother in it, and I started to cry, and I could not stop.

Forty-nine years old, and still sobbing in front of nuns.

No one spoke.”

Don’t even try to pretend that your eyes aren’t a bit damp.

In Grace Notes, you can also take some time with “Advice to My Son,” “A Child is Not a Furniture,” “On Miraculousness,” and 33 other treats from Doyle’s inquiring and incisive mind.

For a change of pace,

here’s one of my abstract art poems,

“Tree verses,”

click here

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2017 All rights reserved.

My first book of poems, Writing Rainbows: Poems for Grown-Ups with 59 new poems, is for sale on Amazon (paperback and Kindle), or free in Kindle Unlimited, click here

On this website you can read: my poetry in free verse and 5–7–5 format — nature poems, love poems, poems about grandchildren, and a spectrum of other topics — written in a way that makes it possible for you to know, as precisely as possible, what’s going on in my mind and in my imagination; thoughtful book reviews that offer some exceptional critique of the book instead of a simple book summary; examinations of history that did and didn’t happen; examples of my love affair with words; reflections on the quotations, art, and wisdom of famous and not-so-famous people, and occasional comments on politics and human nature.

Your comments on my poems, book reviews and other posts are welcome.

For my book review

of a searing critique

of the theory of democracy,

Shantung Compound,

click here

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← Love letters in the sand, the moon…

Originally published at Richard Subber.