The Ruminations and Reflections of an Armchair Philosopher


Not for me 😔

Don't be fooled by the synopsis: nothing about this felt humorous, just endlessly sad. Poetry is difficult to review but this was not for me

As a Philosophy Major, I have to be honest, I haven’t touched a philosophy text since university. Education ruined what I once loved about philosophy, but reading Kelly’s synopsis, I was ready to find that joy again with The Rumination’s and Reflections of an Armchair Philosopher (but I was a little concerned when I noticed the title had an apostrophe…).

This book was (unexpectedly) poetry & prose. Maybe that’s my fault: is this what Armchair Philosophy consists of? In the case of Kelly’s poetry, many of them relate to his daily life, his trips, his experiences with cars, or as a business analyst, and yes, there are some deep thoughts woven in but I find it difficult to feel moved.

Some poetry was a bit bizarre with lines like, “Welcome to “Clinical Psychology 101” I am retired Colonel Blah-de-blah-blah-blah” but it’s difficult to “rate poetry” - though, quite honestly, this compilation was a whole bunch of strange to me.

The entire book felt very much like a mid-life crisis in PDF form. That reads harsh, but I don’t intend it to; I mean it’s someone desperate to know their life purpose and voice before time runs out. It was actually quite sad to read through these poems. It was advertised as humorous and I thought that meant it would be a pick-me-up text, but I read a sad man. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but that’s how it read. Many poems in the latter half read like a man who left a therapist’s appointment feeling vulnerable and disrespected.

It ends with essays written in prose and stream-of-consciousness writing (my least favourite type of writing) and… I’m not sure what to think of these. They made me even sadder. This entire book made me feel the energy of “sad”. The author writes that humor is intended with the poems from the book, but… I didn’t laugh, and didn’t feel joy.

Did I like this book? Not really. Will some people like this book? Probably. Did this book make me feel good, made me feel immersed in the humor and wit that the synopsis stated? Not at all. Did I understand it? Probably not. Was it well written? Well, the poetry was well written if the content is your cup-of-tea, but the prose essays were not in a style I enjoy. 

If anyone is interested, my favourite poem was: Bewildered.

This took me 40 minutes to read (which fit with the intent of the author - he emphasized that we live in a “tweet” generation, and didn’t want his book to be too long).

Reviewed by

I am a lifelong writer and business owner. I am a content manager and a professional editor. I have a history working in education and am a graduate of a Masters in Library and Information Studies. I can be a harsh reviewer, but that's only because I'm passionate.


About the author

Peter Kelly grew up in Newport News Virginia. Peter helped establish the Lyra Baroque Orchestra after moving to the Twin Cities in 1985. He was the principal baroque oboist with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra for six years. He recently retired as a Senior Systems Business Analyst. view profile

Published on November 16, 2020

9000 words

Genre: Philosophy

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