Reviewed by Courtney Staib
About the Book:
Poet to the Poor is a collection of poetry, where each poem is an account of different hardships from the average American. This collection is incredibly thought-provoking, especially reading this in the time of the current election; all of the issues that this book discusses are all issues that Americans face every day.
The poem, Tea with Joe Hill, was one of my favorites in this collection. The line, “You see death and life they coexist / Some never die and some never live.” This can be interpreted in many ways, but I see it as those who have fought and died for our country, gave their life so that we can live freely; however, as the book continues, we see that we are not truly living, we are “coexisting” in between life and death. The poem, An Open Letter to the FBI (for Leah) surely demonstrates this, “I have read words from your sacred book / I suggest you take a look”. We are told to abide by the laws of our country, but are our leaders abiding by these same laws?
In the poem Cathy at the Texaco Station, we are faced with an issue that we hear about in every political debate. The line, “Somewhere an oil CEO / Is snorting his blow / trying not to care” portrays the issue that while American’s are suffering, trying to make ends meet, facing racism and social injustice, our leaders are focused on their own selfish agendas.
Overall, I really enjoyed this collection of poetry. It is filled with thought-provoking words that are relatable to everyone who is struggling in the current times. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 because I personally do not gravitate towards rhyming in poetry. In many of these poems, every two lines rhyme, which is not a form of poetry that I prefer to read; free-verse poetry is more my taste. With that said, I truly adored this book. There are many poems that have incredible imagery such as A Rose in Winter and The Universe in Motion, which are two poems that I reread several times in order to fully absorb the beauty. I would recommend it to anyone who is passionate about government, social injustices, and reading beautiful words regarding hushed political topics.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I am not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.
About The Author:
John Kaniecki is a member of the Revolutionary Poet's Brigade and Secretary for Rhyming Poet's International. John volunteers as a missionary in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, for the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue. John is active in the antiwar movement. In particular John is a strong advocate of the rights of indigenous people. He has two previously published books. A poetry book entitled "Murmurings of a Mad Man" by eLectio Publishing and a science fiction story collection entitled "Words of the Future" published by Witty Bard Publishing.