Sundog Lit reviews Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer


While googling myself yesterday (I do it often) I stumbled across a review of my book, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, on the Sundog Lit blog. It’s always such a wonderful surprise to learn what someone else thinks about your work — whether good or bad, at least they read it — and to see that they took the time to spread the word about it.

I’m glad to know that, according to this reviewer, I don’t suffer from any of the common pitfalls that plague so much of today’s poetry:

I don’t presume to know what makes a good poem or a bad poem.  Poetry can be fairly subjective.  But there are certain things that make me close my eyes in pity and sympathy for both the poet and the poem.  One is overused metaphors. … Then there’s the “I” illness.

Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer ‘s poems have none of these things.  The author gives us perfectly formed poems, ones that last for three lines to ones that last for a couple of pages.  His poems play with different structures, and end up perfectly suited to the poems themselves, and become part of the poem seamlessly.

The complement on form is another dear one for me — poets painstakingly seek the best form for each poem that they write. Form is important: it can influence pacing, meaning, everything, really. A good poem is one that cannot be divorced from the form that it is written in; a good poem makes the form become a part of it. I’m glad to see that I’ve succeeded in this struggle.

I’m also extremely proud to know that my book offers variety — hopefully enough to please anyone who picks up a copy:

I think what I loved about this collection of poems was the complexity of what Stobierski writes about.  He doesn’t just focus on love, or abandonment, or guilt, or sex or any one of the other things that poetry can often center around.  He gives us an offering of life, peeling it and separating it like an orange.  He talks about good love, bad love, Mario painting and Degas, abuse, the roots of your family and how the beginning travels to the end.  He talks about religion.  He talks about watching someone with Alzheimer’s.

For the full review, click here.

It seems to me that poetry, more than any other form of literature, is prone to any number of catastrophic miscalculations. Every time I send a submission out, I am plagued by the thought that my work just isn’t good enough — that I’ve fallen victim to one of these errors. But when I find a review from someone that I’ve never met, who truly enjoyed my work, it all feels worth it.

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