DiscoverPoetry

The Long Road Home

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Loved it! 😍

Poetry to lift you beyond the mundanity of everyday life and into moments of sheer pleasure.

The Long Road Home is a pleasant country ramble through the mind. This reader found herself transported beyond the mundanity of everyday life, smiling in recognition at the experiences reflected through eloquent figurative language.

 

In poems about love, fulfilment and childhood memories, Braden Hofeling takes the reader initially Off the Beaten Path, then to Finding the Way and finally Home. Evident from the section titles, earlier entries detail feelings of being out-of-place and searching for peace and happiness, while later poems demonstrate that Hofeling has, indeed, come home — which “isn’t a place, it’s a journey” — and is comfortable in his own skin.

 

The book contains ink drawings utilising block colours over black outlines. Though not always clearly connected to one poem over others, the images are an attractive inclusion which break up the text.

 

The beauty of poetry is the ability to take each poem as a whole, paying special attention to the beginning and ending lines which customarily hold the most impact. This is difficult with Hofeling’s book due to the layout: the text scrolls continuously, often leaving titles at the bottom of a page, with the bulk of the poem on the next page. At a glance it is less certain where each poem ends, so the impact of Hofeling’s powerful last lines is decreased.

 

Closer editing to remove inconsistencies with punctuation would benefit the book. Punctuation guides the reader in pacing and pausing — especially important in free-form poetry — so inconsistency diminishes the reading experience. There is also no clear reason for the jarring editorial decision to include two headings directly after each other, interrupting the flow of the writing without adding to the content.

 

Some of Hofeling’s poems are as short as two lines and some are much longer, over a page. They allude to something intangible in all of us, to “profundities deeper than an ocean / more elusive than the air I breathe”.

 

The Long Road Home presents heartwarming poems filled with love and longing for moments to be recaptured (or indeed realised). The easily-relatable poems deal with common human experiences, universal sentiments, with beautiful expression. The author reasons that “love is the only thing known to man that multiplies as much as it gives of itself, a true sustainable resource”. Do yourself a favour and wander the country roads of your mind in this feel-good book. After all, we are all receptive to love.

Reviewed by

My first book features my journey through depression and into wellness. I’m working on my second book, with enough material for five such books featuring poems and art. I’ve scoped two prose books and a picture book. My ability to transcend these ideas into reality depends on time-watch this space!

Off the Beaten Path

About the author

I am a new author focused on exploring the world through poetry. I believe that poetry has the power to open many hearts and touch many people. I try to invite others to see the world through new perspectives and learn some of the invaluable lessons life has taught me. view profile

Published on February 27, 2021

8000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Poetry

Reviewed by