4 out of 4 stars
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Solar Reflection by Joseph Deehan is a simple collection of poems reflecting everyday life. The author uses personification to express his thoughts towards nature, life, and the passage of time. He occasionally takes on the viewpoint of another, like a dog waiting to be adopted from the pound, showing his readers how poetry can expand their understanding of the inner lives of other people and things.
I truly enjoyed perusing this short collection of poems. The author has a distinct voice and reveals his thoughts and feelings without being heavy handed. He speaks to the common experiences all humans share: grief, loss, joy, and wonder. Deehan finds moments of emotion in the everyday. He thanks the small things of the world, like spiders and his left eye, for the work they do to improve his life.
Reading this collection has reminded me to find the wonder in my everyday life, and I am grateful to the author for this lesson. I could tell from his poems that Deehan has lived a rich life and that he has learned to be thankful for the small things. He touches on a working-class childhood as the son of immigrants, and he reflects on being part of the generation of babies born to parents living during the war. One poem describes his experience of reading the gravestone of a child born around the same time as him. He questions why he survived his first year of life while this child did not. This poem and others like it remind the reader to be thankful for life and to remember those who were taken before their time.
Overall, I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed the author’s straightforward way of presenting his thoughts, and I appreciated that he reveals his emotions in the way he addresses the world around him rather than simply stating how he feels. I didn’t mark any missing or extra punctuation as a grammatical error since the poetic form allows the author to have more freedom grammatically, but I also didn’t find any obvious typos or missing words. The poems are well edited, and they appear to have been corrected by multiple people before being published.
I would recommend this book to lovers of poetry of all ages, but it will particularly appeal to those who are in later stages of life and enjoy spending time looking back over their memories. I would caution younger readers that these poems deal with difficult topics like death and grief, but they do so tastefully and from a viewpoint of thankfulness for the life one is given and wonder at the world around us.
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