This volume is not not the established work of as established poet. Its range is broad and eclectic, from nature to love, from war to square dancing, from hunting to skiing, from climbing to meditating, from conjecture to satire to vignettes of history and scientific assumptions. It is not the work of a dilettante but of a laborer who has tried to live life to its fullest in many contexts.
Poetry is more than a condensation of human thought and emotions, from powerful to subtle, from expressive to suggestive. Poetry is also a revelation of the poet's soul, the thoughts, feelings, spirit and imagination. It is communication of the most subtle, vital and intrusive kind.
A good poem expresses the poet's experience, therefore it can be intensely personal--or objective with shades of subtly within. A great poem, on the other hand, both reveals and transports. It prompts the reader to reach out for a new experience, to relive a familiar one or to delve into the subconscious realm of inner apprehension of the life of the reader.
It has been said that a poem is the instrument of self-revelation and is most effective in it intention when read aloud. The human voice gives resonance and new meaning to the written poetic idea. A reader therefore compounds the meaning of the poetic experience for it involves the musicality of feelings ad emotions. A voice of love and a cry for help have a tone to each; they are not just sounds. Of course a whisper without voice is another matter.
These poems reach out, an expression fast becoming trite, yet they do, they appeal to common emotions, feelings, the deep transcendence of love, the exhilaration of a dynamic and life-changing experience, as my river trip down the Colorado River in a dory, my years of square dancing, my love for a good woman, my transcending experience in war and those lullabies of ordinary experience found in nature's songs. I revisited them with my profound expectations that the reader, though he or she may choose and pick, as is usually the case, will find herein a poem that will elevate, enlighten and translate the reader into my own personal experience from which the poem issues. The poem thereupon bonds me to the reader though a shared experience. That bonding establishes the basic integrity of the poetic statement of a human experience. In its attempt bond the watcher with the scene, much of today's television viewer response-to-scene bonding lacks that basic integrity. It is phony show.
I did not write them to expiate on life's sorrow of its exacerbations or on some weird fantasies of ones man's love of nature. Rather, I wrote them as a kind of self-dialogue by which I recollect my past and therefore they, without pretense, exhibit a diary-like condensation of my own past. After all, the writing of a poem is the sharing of that unique experience that is scarcely expressed by any other means. Except for the tone poem, music lacks that ideological content. Certainly; I think, a poem exceeds a profile of a person's life, a paper on a patient's psychological experience, an analysis of a feeling.
A good poem is an exposition, a great poems is a revelation. Frost's poems, so nowadays, are expressive of common experiences. Shakespeare's King Lear is the poetry of the revelation of the human heart and soul of a man torn asunder by blood-loyalties. Yet both are inescapably works of poetry.