Each of these eight poems has its own style and potency. While a quick read, readers will turn to these poems again and again.
To me the most intriguing one was busy, busy. busy (for three voices. These are the inner voice, the active voice, and the other voice(s), and are arranged in three columns in a very easy-to-read way. Osterhaus avoids confusion with this pattern; too often poets become so enamored of a pattern that readers have great difficulty and frustration when they encounter the poem. Gratefully, this is not the case here. This structure appears like a Greek drama. By that I am not saying anything negative, or implying that the poet envisions the poem in that way. The structure recalls a classical form, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Cleansing the Temple covers the familiar ground of religious hypocrisy in a different way.
What religion is this
that hooks the needy mind
bodes the wrath of hell
that debates with only one side
that scalds with rage
numbs with certitude
blinds with hypocrisy
dizzies with lies, and
drains all power to resist?
What is this Contract with America,
and where are the signatures?
This is an explosive poem whose force literally bursts from the page in powerful writing.
helpful for readers to connect with the poems.
That being said, it is and excellent short book of verse that is well-written and designed.
Song for Mrs. Tree opens the book. It is a poignant lament for someone. One small criticism I have is that the person’s identity is a little too hidden. While I do not think it should be heavily-detailed, and the same for the affliction, certainly a few details would be useful in connecting readers more quickly and solidly to the book. However, this is certainly a book worth reading.
I am a published poet with four books out there of my own, and two in collaboration with artist Carol Worthington-Levy. Additionally I have drafts of a novel and one short story in the process of being sent out.