Take Flight: The Sonnets
by Thomas G. Reischel
LitFire Publishing

"Yet there’s another charming chime that rings
Adoring notes, the best under the sun.
It’s precious you, my Dear, whom my heart sings."

The passion Reischel has for sonnets is clearly displayed in this book. Any reader interested in this poetic form will find this work educational. In fact, it reads as a handbook for sonnets. The book opens with an overview of the sonnet and its varieties. Each section features a distinct form and begins with introductory remarks followed by examples written by the author. The scope of the work is impressive; there are 74 differentiated sonnet formats with 170 original examples. Reischel closes with an extensive, alphabetical listing of sonnet descriptions and a glossary identifying the form of each of the 170 sonnets provided.

Although there are many themes throughout the book, Reischel often meditates on the beauty of the outside world. This theme is reflected in the accompanying, original photos. The author includes many landscapes showing the world’s natural beauty. In addition, there are photos taken with a variety of techniques which invite visual attention, most notably his self-portraits. The reader will also find engaging pieces concerning family and love for his spouse. His playfulness and passion for the form are apparent throughout, showing up in abundance in his last piece which is reminiscent of Billy Collins’ “Sonnet.” Particularly interesting is the section focused on expanded sequence sonnets. This extended form allows the author more time to develop a story through the sonnet form and provides some unique historical pieces, including such subjects as buffalo slaughter, the Inquisition, and the reflective thoughts of a pirate before he his hung. In short, Reischel takes the reader on a deep dive into the form and obviously enjoys the journey.

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