From reviews of Kingdoms of the Ordinary, also by Robley Wilson:
"These poems are alive with thought, they examine things from various angles, like someone walking around a sculpture. . . . We all may live ordinary lives, but with the courage to face them that we find in these poems, the world may become our kingdom yet."--New York Times Book Review
"With all the innocence of childhood yet an adult’s knowledge, these poems strike a delicate balance. . . . Highly recommended."--Library Journal
Robley Wilson’s third book of poems is written in a delightful variety of forms--syllabics, couplets, nonce sonnets, internal rhymes, and a marvelously supple blank verse. His concerns are the age-old concerns of being human: the difficulty of loving and communicating, the maddening challenges of living a "normal" life in suburbia, the ripple effect of our every act on others.
But there is nothing dour in his approach. His tone is often wry and witty, always thoughtful. He digs deep and comes up with poems written from totally unexpected perspectives--the Kent State massacre from the point of view of one of the now-aging National Guardsmen; World War II from the point of view of a German girl chosen to present flowers to General Himmler; or a man living (literally) on the moon.
Wilson has published four books of stories, and his gift as a storyteller is apparent in these poems. He sets the scene, gives us the facts--of a life, a mood, a moment--and we are drawn into the world of each separate poem. "Judge not . . ." is implicit, and we see ourselves in these poems and learn about ourselves as we read.
Robley Wilson, editor of the North American Review, is professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He has published two previous books of poetry, Kingdoms of the Ordinary (1987) and A Pleasure Tree (1991).
About Robley WilsonSee more books from this Author
Like his mid-century precedents, Wilson can stray into ponderous phrasemaking: we hear of ""all the body's ends,"" ""the muttering of her mortality,"" ""the subtleties of God's simpler work,"" even of men ""risking themselves to learn/ what beauty tells."" (Wilson's treatment of straight male des...| Read Full Review of Everything Paid For (Contempo...