2 out of 4 stars
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A World Diverse II: See Comes Between (B) and (D) is the second in a series of collections of poems written by David Edmond. He started writing poetry well into his retirement years as a therapeutic diversion after his second wife died of the complications of Parkinson’s Disease. His career spanned 35 years working with the Royal Canadian Air Force mainly in the physical education and recreation field, allowing him to interact with various nationalities and travel all over Canada. He has since remarried and continues to write inspired lines about his life and work experiences.
This second collection is divided into four parts. In “Introduction,” he includes “If” where he expounds on his definition of a full life. In “The Working Life,” there are three poems that discuss career choices. Five pieces come in “Guardians of Our Freedom” where he muses about wars and those who are in the forefront. The aptly-titled longest section, “Healing the Mind, Body and Soul,” contains thirteen poems. He ends with two odes honoring two special people. There are two dozen poems in all in this book.
Edmond writes his poetry in free verse. From Wikipedia, “Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern.” He also does not use a lot of metaphors; there is not much room for confusing his intended meaning. A reader will find his work easy to read and understand.
Seven of the poems stood out for me for their messages and the feelings evoked. “If” talks about acting upon one’s “ifs” in life to accomplish what one desires. “Our Soldiers” honors those who fight for our freedoms but also portrays how the rules of war have changed; in reality, there are no more rules. Ways of coping with life’s adversities are discussed in “Silence” and “Pet Sense”; the former urges one to have moments of silence for relaxing the mind and body, and the latter extols the benefits of having pets. “The Nature of Life” is a touching prayer to God who provides in this life and rewards in the next. A poem for his late wife, “I Was There,” relates their joint journey from their wedding day to the discovery of her illness up to her sad demise. “They Live On” is about our departed loved ones’ memories that linger and inspire.
I appreciate Edmond’s pieces that honor the Canadian war heroes who survive the wars. He acknowledges that the dead heroes are fittingly feted and recognized but feels that those who survive to battle PTSD and physical disabilities should be given more benefits and support. He singles out the parliamentarians as to blame for the sad plight of these war survivors. These soldiers and their kin will find these poems uplifting.
I also like his poems about his caregiving experiences – the power of ‘til-death-do-us-part love, the cherished memories, the physical, emotional, and mental challenges, etc. He ended up with depression when his wife died; his road to recovery is a story of faith and hope that will inspire those similarly situated.
Edmond’s verses all have messages for the reader, but five of the poems feel disjointed somehow; some stanzas seem to be misplaced. Three pieces pay tribute to people whom the reader knows little about, making them less impactful. A short background about Edmond’s relationships with these characters would enrich these verses. “Thank You Canada” seems to be mistitled; “Canada Thanks You” seems more apropos as the poem talks about soldiers fighting for the country. “Time and Circumstance” includes the story of two brothers which does not seem in line with the title. Four poems need a background of Canadian goings-on to be thoroughly appreciated.
I read the official OBC reviews for the first and third books; both were awarded perfect ratings, and both were found superbly edited. I feel bad being the odd one out, but this second book has quite a few typos (I read the PDF version) that detracted from my reading enjoyment. The errors mainly concern punctuation and misused words. The book’s title, See is Between (B) and (D), also does not strike a chord with me. Thus, while I hate to disappoint the poet, I award this poetry collection 2 out of 4 stars because of the editing and other flaws discussed earlier.
Those who struggle with ambiguous messages in flowery verses will find the poems in this book very accessible. Conversely, those who enjoy the mystery in poetry may find this collection too simple for their taste. But the pieces resonate with the author’s faith in the Almighty, his loving concern for his fellow humans, especially the underprivileged, and his appreciation of life and its ups and downs. Indeed, if one looks with eyes of hope, one can see the beauty of this world diverse.
A World Diverse 11
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