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The Wind Through the Trees at Night

by William Wright Jr.

Rating: ****

The Wind Through the Trees at Night is a beautifully subtle and thoughtful little collection of poems that are well-crafted, emotionally intimate, and delicately considered.

All are short, both in form and sentence, and do not immediately follow any prescribed rhyming scheme. However, recurring motifs, repetition, eye-rhymes and gentle alliteration all presented in lean, elegant writing ensure that the verses are incredibly readable and accessible.

The majority of the poetry has roots (pardon the pun) and imagery in the natural world with its savage, unpredictable, yet comforting power. The cyclical order of nature provides structure; day will always follow night regardless of where we are, who we are, or what we are feeling. These poems fully embrace that fact and use it to excellent effect in their general construction.

Notwithstanding this literal, organic framework, as with all good poetry, the verses and their content can equally be taken as completely metaphorical, and representative of a reader’s emotional revolution reflecting back nature’s constantly evolving state, which is ever-changeable but curiously within the same parameters.

Storms, their anger and aftermath feature heavily and another prevalent theme is the dawn and its capacity to be both a new beginning and, contrastingly, an exhausting continuation of nightmarish condemnation. Not unsurprisingly given the title, a number of the poems also reference the dark influence of the night; its fearful loneliness that can feed and magnify the very worst of human vulnerability, but by comparison, its quiet ability to heal and rest the mind.

A thread of hopelessness runs through a number of the verses but Wright Jr., seems comfortable to acknowledge, explore, and accept (for the time being) this despondency. Just as the introspection threatens to overshadow or overwhelm, a glimmer of hope, albeit faint is introduced.

Wright Jr., has an intrinsic knack for creating verse, and despite some of the content, you feel that he really enjoys the formation of poetry to express and share his feelings to provide succor to the reader without any hint of self-indulgence. Not only do the verses flow quite effortlessly, the sentiments examined are adaptable and familiar. There is a sense of tentativeness and humility in the poems as they unfold to the reader.

Nonetheless, a few required a touch of stronger imagery or forcing emotion, an amplification if you will. It would have been interesting to have read a few poems that raged and ruffled a little more and, which there is no doubt Wright Jr., can produce.

Personally, I loved “Icy Marrow”, it had me at the first line. “Caught in their Gleaming and Merciful Stares” soaked with lingering childhood angst the source of which could have come from any number of areas. As with all the poems in this collection, Wright Jr., has been really attentive to the levels of reader interpretation and personal experience.

Colorless Mornings” was evocative and chill, “Driftwood and Flecks of Gold” – again, is it merely a house teetering on a cliff or the unquiet, cluttered contents of someone’s mind? I also thoroughly enjoyed the three poems that made up “The Invasion”; spare, succinct, and clever.

The Wind Through the Trees at Night is a collection that speaks for, and to the reader through its empathy and approachability. Highly recommended.

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