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In The Murmuring Trees delves into nature, mythology and fantasy through evocative prose and poetry. It retells classic stories of gods and monsters, and man’s place within nature’s grandeur, capturing the essence of these timeless tales while instilling in them a modern twist unique to poet R. Tirrell Leonard Jr.

Leonard Jr. takes his readers to explore Towanda, under the mystic strawberry moon, where they will see “The Ghosts of the Night” dancing wildly in the billowing breeze, an apparition of an old Indian chief amongst them. Together, they will remember “A Hero’s Death,” and Jason’s sad fate as he slept under the rotting hull of the Argo, dreaming of Medea dancing still. Afterwards, they go on “A Magical Country Dance” in the darker woods by lake Innatou, to join Indian ghosts, faeries and fey swaying under the veil of moonlight, amidst them an irresistible temptress with eyes so blue and full of magic.

In The Murmuring Trees is a superb collection of poems that will delight poetry aficionados, classical mythology enthusiasts, and casual readers alike with verses that will take them to a time and place where myths were real and legends walked among men.

The poems in this book explore the delicate balance between man & nature, the impulse to see figures for our emotions everywhere around us, & the way the world can speak our own thoughts & feelings back to us so eloquently.

The book isn’t broken into sections of any type & this seems like a problem since the book is so unrelenting in its messages, never giving the reader a chance to pause & process, a necessary break to digest all of what is happening.

A poem like “Thistle Rush” demonstrates what’s most heartily at work in this collection.  The couplet stanza pattern really paces out the beauty here, & while the poem is one of physical love, we’re given a glimpse of the spiritual. – Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards

 


 

The Columbia Review of Books & Film

In Season’s Dream
Reviewed By: Avraham Azrieli
Avraham Azrieli writes novels and screenplays. www.AzrieliBooks.com

“In Season’s Dream” by R. Tirrell Leonard Jr. (2015) is a second volume of poetry from Mr. Leonard. It exceeds even the high expectations generated by his excellent first volume, “In The Murmuring Trees” (2012).

As the title implies, this volume of poems embraces the four seasons of the year as its general structure, dividing the poems into four sections named after the seasons. But this work goes far beyond a calendar breakdown of weather patterns or human moods. Take, for instance, the launching “Spring” piece of the book, “On a Misty Spring Morn,” which opens with a first line that could be coming straight out of fall, or even winter: “I wander out in fog and rain…”

To the reader thus expecting more surprises, your expectations will be met with gusto.

Mr. Leonard manages to take the seemingly mundane subject of weather and seasons, mix it with unique and original observations, and produce a work of great depth, originality, and pleasant surprises. The poems are infused with the magical scenery that typifies the Northeast, with its contrasting sea and rocky coasts, inland lushness and stretches of desolation, and the main theme—the moody weather that regularly makes a total misfit to the concurrent season.

Particularly powerful are Mr. Leonard’s poems that straddle the line between reality and fantasy, between internal emotions and external environment, between joy and sadness—as well as between life and death. An excellent example is “Numbered Are the Hours” that starts with a lovely and familiar nature image and goes to the other end—literally: “I walk the reach, a long paved path; Between the swamps and pond; And hear the calls of geese and ducks; Beyond the veils of fog.” Yet, it goes on to “And one day, I’ll ride his ancient boat; To float beyond the veil, And touch the isle’s beach out there; Where none has ever returned.”

In summary, “In Season’s Dream” by R. Tirrell Leonard Jr” is a rich collection of poems with a powerful theme, deep insight, and vibrant imagery. It is both enjoyable and intriguing, striking a perfect balance between tangible and elusive threads that would no doubt instigate further reflections in the reader’s mind. Excellent!


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