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When I first started thinking about this book, I was not at all certain which poems I should include from my previous books. With few exceptions, I decided that I would select only those poems I personally liked. In fact, I had only scant knowledge of what others liked anyway and short of conducting some sort of time-consuming popularity poll, would never find out. Although the choice has been personal and subjective, the seventy poems I finally selected represent my best effort (over the last dozen years) to understand reality and to come to grips with it in both playful and serious ways. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed read- ing my own published poems again from a more detached perspective. Whether a new reader, or an older one already familiar with my stuff , I hope you, too, will enjoy the choices I have made.
All the new poems at the beginning of the book have been written since my wife’s death in September, 2012. As a widower, I have been compelled to adjust, to make changes, trying, in the process, to wrest new meaning from where I find myself now, living alone and starting over. Like many, I have grown up with the dictum that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. In a way, most of the new poems in the opening section reflect my effort, with much support from others, to challenge that dictum. Can this old dog, at 87 years of age, be taught? Is he learning anything new and meaningful in this, the closing phase of his long and varied journey?
7 thoughts on “Red Rocker”
Rockers put us to sleep but Red Rocker wakes us up, compelling us to look again, to catch something of the beauty and meaning in even the most ordinary of human acts often to our complete surprise.
As a poet and story teller Bob Skeele has moved a step closer to perfection in his latest book Red Rocker. There’s no subject he won’t tackle but in the end he leaves us with an appreciation for the beauty, meaning and humour to be found in ordinary events.
Red Rocker propels the reader into Skeele’s world where he taps into prismatic facets of the human experience, illuminating each with precision. His poetic landscape never shrinks from scrutiny; instead, it offers up a captivating vista of quietly powerful discoveries, wise perceptions, quirky insights and, always, a deeply steadfast affection for the unassailably real and the wildly imagined.
The down-to-earth poems in Red Rocker always, always lift my spirits.
Bob Skeele’s Red Rocker awakens the reader to both present encounters and memories past with heart-breaking tenderness, humour and hope.
Bob Skeele’s Red Rocker takes us on a gentle ride through the human experience reminiscent of Billy Collins. An enlightened and endearing trip in every way.
Like your other books, I read this one (Red Rocker) from cover to cover with awe and inspiration.We are about the same age and enjoy similar perspectives on many topics but I cannot imagine how talented you are in your perception and creativity, and how you weave it all together in so many fine lines and verses…
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