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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Of Dreams and Realities

Of Dreams and Realities by Frank Johnson

Frank Johnson's target audience in Of Dreams and Realities is young adults. However, I'm afraid his poetry style is far removed from what most young adults like to read, and his subjects aren't treated with the same attitudes and respect (or ironic disrespect) that many young adults currently appreciate.

If you've been reading Considering All Things Literary for very long, you know that I hate to give bad reviews, and they are rare on this blog. However, I feel compelled to be honest, and when I've tried and failed to like a book (or a collection of poems in this case), I don't want to give other readers a false impression.

Dr. Johnson's poems are all rhymed, most in either AABB or ABAB format. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it sometimes seems forced to try and find a word that rhymes but doesn't accurately fit the poem. When you have approximately 60 poems in a collection, the odds are good that there will be several forced words. A mix of rhymed and blank verse would have been nice.

Meanwhile, the topics are various, ranging from dating to parents to inner thoughts, all of which are fine for poems in general and, specifically, for young adult poetry. However, Dr. Johnson could use a lighter, less lecturing tone on many of these, and on others he could use a bit more sincerity--sharing perhaps his thoughts or memories of his time as a young adult.

Again, I don't enjoy disliking poetry, and I'm not trying to be overly critical of Dr. Johnson. I know poetry is deeply personal and open to various interpretations. However, I don't think this collection fits his target audience, and I think it would have been better off remaining in his own journal.


  1. Tiffany,
    I was just introduced to your blog through David at Authorblog. I am glad I took the time to stop by.
    After viewing your profile and reading your previous blog posts, I will return.
    You have inspired me. I love to read, was read to outloud as a baby and learned quickly that reading takes you everywhere.
    This blog is well presented and I am a new fan!

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll be sure to check out your blog as well!


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