Tuesday 5 January 2021

Framed by Poetry

Framed by Poetry by Stefan A Nicholson (Cyberwit, India) PB RRP US$15 ISBN 9789388329249

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

With a sub-title ‘A gallery of chosen poems from my collection,’ this is a compilation of 81 selected poems for a wide range of audiences, including children. Cyberwit says on its AIS, ‘The poet for the most part uses matter-of-fact, everyday words instead of artificial and ornamental vocabulary’, and this is indeed one of the most attractive elements of the collection.

Standing up for issues such as climate change, poverty, prejudice, and social injustice, Nicholson’s poems have titles such as ‘The Last Human,’ ‘Remembrance Day’ and ‘Moment in Time.’ The style of poems varies as widely as the subject matter with prose poems (‘The Promise’), rhyming poems (‘The Writer’), free form (‘Last Autumn Leaf’), cinquain (‘My Dog’), and haiku (‘Poetry Is’).

Overall, in this collection one often sees the versatile poet drawing on his emotional intelligence as he explores his own life experiences and his reaction to the world around him. His social conscience is evident in numerous poems such as ‘First Call’, a prose poem about a child living in poverty. He asks, ‘Why do they live and die this way, while others look away?’ To this he adds, ‘We fight for just equality, freedom from domination. Yet we sacrifice ordinary quiet lives and soldiers from each nation.’ This sensibility is demonstrated, too, in ‘Clouds of Glass,’ with lines such as ‘Cultivating greed without compassion for the hungry poor’, and ‘… deplete everything living, for the greed of man.’

The poet’s personal experience is evident in ‘Denying Self’ which begins with ‘I know a place where we belong – together’ and continues to address a loved one. Alongside romantic poems such as this and poems with a social conscience, Nicholson also writes quirky and humorous poems. In ‘Moon’, he begins with, ‘The man in the moon is standing on his head, /Or maybe it’s a woman, as some modern gals have said.’

‘Musical Life’ is another eccentric poem with lines including (in capital letters), words to do with music such as, ‘I could eat a PIANO FORTE with a TUBA mayonnaise and a FLUTE of champagne to STAVE off my hunger.’

There is no doubt that this collection should appeal to a wide audience, including children. Nicholson has spread his wings wide and with Framed by Poetry adds to his oeuvre which includes 15 novels and non-fiction books for both adults and children.

Copies of the book can be purchased from the publisher (Cyberwit.net) and Amazon.

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