By: Paul Buchheit
Publisher: Kelsay Books
Publication Date: August 16, 2023
Shifting moods, introspection, and emotional rendition make up Paul Buchheit's genre-arching anthology, Sonnets of Love and Joy.
Sonnets of Love and Joy is a compilation of sixty ballads, most of which appear in the crisp Shakespearean form. The poems are divided into five sections, Love of Another, Joy of Family and Friends, Joy of Nature, Joy of the Seasons, and The Joy of Children. As the subtitles suggest, the entries take special delight in these topics employing a pleasant etiquette both earthly and spiritual, along the pages. Each entry is brief with each word serving its purpose, including the titles, which are important for cognizance.
Semantic turns, alliteration, line breaks, and resonance exist delivering precise and sharp messages to readers. By employing impressive iambic pentameter, Buchheit combines excellent imagery with graceful structures and original ideas in subjects such as nature, seasons, love, family, friendship, and parenthood. The result is a package of deep, inventive, and dazzling anthologies that offers a luxurious repast for the mind, body, and soul. At turns heartwarming and vulnerable, captivating and contemplative, poems such as Child's Garden and On Greeting the Splendors of Autumn, visceral and impactful vividness inform with images such as "The musky pathway," " milky clouds and celestial pallets," and "breezes whispering."
Buchheit writes with enticing intimacy bringing into his collection the emblem of traditional lyrics that revel in intricacy and formal order. Elsewhere, some poems have up their sleeve, an elegant and adventurous feel of enjambment that moves and ends up winning the reader with their openness and emotional profoundness. In " Spring Awakening," for example, words such as, "In sudden rustlings, playful sprites convene in chatty complement to rearrange their homestead; and a prankish sparrow swoons and darts and teases; and a scheming squall, whose grudging bitter grip, in rasping tunes through weary pine, once dared to taunt and brawl," display exactly that and manages to emit a familiar linguistic rune sharing secrets only with those who read the entries closely.
The poet is such an adroit and keen observer of slight changes in seasons, people, time, and the world in general. From the abundance of human life, he uses these jewel boxes to serve their practical purpose, at times remaining mystifying yet elucidating in the manner of a true minstrel. He attempts to unite rich history and contemporary thoughts, an aspect that elevates this text and brings with it a beautiful surreality. With jaw-dropping landscapes and artistic illustrations that expand and complement each entry, their singular nature not only desires to be read outloud but also invites reflectivity and heart-searching.
Cruising through this collection is similar to a sumptuous meander through one's favorite gallery linking the distinctive and historical, turning the glass inside and outside, and showcasing Buchheit's masterstroke in his art.
Quill says: Powerful as it is impassioned and forthright, Sonnets of Love and Joy by Paul Buchheit flags off the advent of an imperative voice.