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WritingAfterDark

Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

REVIEW: Becoming (Poems 2002-2005) by Christopher Porpora

Becoming (Poems 2002-2005)
By Christopher Porpora
Anne’s House Press (2005)
76 pp Paperback
Poetry
ASIN: BOOOKJRURA
Amazon Price: $9.95

Becoming is the second collection of poetry written by Christopher Porpora.

The stylish cover, a black ink drawing sketched by the author, depicts and old-time bathroom scene with a personal touch. Porpora’s voice reminds me of past poets who found beauty by using words of simplicity and depth of feeling.

From the front cover to the back, the 76 poems include bits and pieces of the author’s personal style and distinctive voice. In some poems he found his voice and in others the reader needed to search for it.

Short or long, each poem speaks from Porpora’s heart and shows a balance and mixture of honesty, dread, tenderness, love, loss, joy, and humor. Some poems, so short, as the two-line poem on page 2, were difficult to determine what point the author was trying to make. They were elusive and without rhyme or reason.

Yet in the longer prose, the imagery, simile, and emotion were quite good.

Tender fathers
Watching this tender father
carry his sandaled, sleeping boy
through the archway
up the tiled steps,
stepping so, his arms
stretched, as if cradling
his own sleeping heart. (3)


Each poem was seemingly a taste of his life written in segments, tiny fables, and with a romantic appeal in most.

As with any type of writing, the author has only a short time to catch a reader’s attention. With poetry, the portal of opportunity is smaller; the reader must be drawn in quickly in very few words. How a reader perceives, analyzes, and interprets the words in front of him can be as different as black and white.

Porpora’s imagery in many of his poems was spot on and he controlled what feeling he wanted his reader to perceive.

To her I confessed
I long for a world
a world without wrong,
without temptation
But what would become
then, of us said she
Perharps redemption,
perhaps misery. (18)


His mixture of rhyme and free verse throughout his poetry shows that Porpora is familiar with the many strategies of prose. The shorter pieces could have left an impression had he expanded the verse, yet at the same time, the longer rhyming verse flowed right off the page into the next forcing this reader to read to the end of the book to find the prose he’d mastered.

Porpora may be a younger and newer poet on the scene, but he is one who poetry lovers should give notice. I look for the next book of poetry by Porpora to show his skills even more.

Click HERE to purchase Becoming.

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2 Comments:

Blogger ~Betsy said...

Looks as if you are getting your reviews caught up. That must be a great feeling. This looks interesting. Thanks for sharing.

11/15/2007 12:12 AM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Slowly, but surely. Not sure if I'll ever get caught up, though. As soon as I finish one, two more come in the mail. LOL

11/17/2007 10:41 AM