Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WTF: Poems

Published in 2017, WTF: Poems is a collection of poetry by award-winning poet Laura Foley.  In 2015, I read and reviewed Joy Street by Foley, which is an eclectic, joyful celebration of life.  This book is quite different.  The subject of this collection is Foley's father, William Thomas Foley, whose initials happen to spell W.T.F., a popular, contemporary acronym.  William T.  Foley was a World War II veteran and prisoner of war (POW) for four years in China and Japan, who returned home in 1945.  This book is dedicated to his memory.

When I say this collection of twenty poems is very engaging, I mean it.  It's a short book, and I read it quickly, in one sitting. Then I read it a second time--not just for good measure, but because it's beneficial to read poems twice (or even three or four times), for better understanding.  I felt as if I were reading an intimate memoir by the author. WTF  focuses on the poet's relationship with her father, who's a doctor.  In the title poem, "WTF!", we learn that the luggage and household towels have his initials on them, and that his four daughters are expected to answer the phone like secretaries, "Dr. Foley's Residence".  In the book, the poet is a child, taking it all in, learning all that she can, and eventually she's an adult, with children of her own.

These poems are autobiographical, and take readers on an emotional journey, complete with conflicting feelings, replete with descriptive and unique language.  At times I struggle to decipher the meaning of poems, but these poems are clear and concise, full of accessible imagery and details, such as in the poem, "Family Photograph", "knee-socks uneven/legs scraped from the last dash/across concrete."  As a child, I was often coming home with a new scrape on my knee. These images, as well as others, resonated with me.

There are several remarkable poems in the book that I could have chosen to highlight in this post. Here is one of my favorites.

His Victory

I'm four, playing cards with Dad,
the reward four dollars if I win,
nothing if I lose--and when I do
it's everything,
even the two-dollar fortune I had gained.
For a moment, before escaping
to the shelter of my room,
I see a glimmer in his eyes
of something I won't identify
until decades later.
~ WTF: Poems,  Laura Foley, p. 16

In a  broader sense, WTF is a collection about the survival of both Foleys.  It expresses a myriad of emotions, with words and thoughts that convey honest, real feelings such as anger, jealousy, joy, compassion, and acceptance.  Brimming with memories, these poems are a personal, truthful, and touching tribute to William T. Foley.  This book would be an exceptional collection for those interested in poetry that focuses on World War II, father-daughter relationships, or just beautiful poems that have been written by a very gifted poet.


Many thanks to Serena from Poetic Book Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.  For additional reviews and features, please visit the other stops on Poetic Book Tour's tour for WTF.  Also be sure to "check out" Serena's Poetry Reading Challenge 2017.

Your comments are genuinely appreciated.  Thank you for reading!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Seasons of Joy

"Wake up! It's Spring.
Trees are tipped in wisps of green.
Let's stretch our legs and run on soft, fresh grass."
~ Seasons of Joy, Claudia Marie Lenart

Published in 2017, Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play is a children's book written and illustrated by nature enthusiast and fiber artist Claudia Marie Lenart.  The illustrations are finely rendered, colorful, 3-D wool paintings.  I know I would have lingered over these exquisite pictures as a child.  As an adult, I appreciate the many fine, artistic details in this book, as well as the simple yet profound message, to go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature, year-round.

Seasons of Joy is a gorgeous tribute to the four seasons.  It begins with our current season, Spring.  (My iPhoto below really does not do justice to this fine artwork.)


In the book, children will see that each season is special and beautiful.  Seasons of Joy features short, rhyming prose and lovely, soft wool paintings.  This picture book is truly a joy to look at and to read!  It depicts the beauty of the seasons and gently encourages children--and adults--to go outside and enjoy nature. What could be better than that? 


Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts Kid Konnection, a fun feature that highlights books for children.  Many thanks to Victor from Loving Healing Press for sending me this new children's  book.

Thank you very much for stopping by!  Your comments are welcomed.

Some of the books featured here were given to me free of charge by authors, publishers, and agents. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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