Within and Without
by James Richard Hanson

"Finally, my mind drifts back to the sun,
but it’s already down."

In this deeply personal poetry collection, readers discover the small, often overlooked, moments that compose a lifetime’s mosaic. The book opens brightly with the poem “Dawn,” which celebrates those first few seconds in a person’s day. Pieces like “Not Me” offer a sensory experience where sight and sound combine, and the speaker contemplates philosophical questions such as “What is it like to be rain / splattering pavement in the night?” Other poems like “Mozart” offer a deep yet humorous contemplation as the speaker reflects that listening to Mozart is “like a great meal that / I don’t know how to cook.” Other works in the collection offer quietly romantic snippets that acknowledge the boundaries of emotional capability and the intense motivation to continually do better for one’s partner that develops over time.

Passionate, philosophical, and quaintly picturesque, the author’s collection reads like a romantic devotional. Adding to the poems’ impacts are their forms and structures, and the simplicity places emphasis on the themes and subjects the author explores. For those looking for emotionally accessible poetry, this compilation offers a variety of poems that will appeal to readers of all aesthetics. For others who are just beginning to explore poetry, this collection provides a unique pathway into a genre with an ever-expanding audience. Because of its intimate themes and subject matter, this book will make the perfect gift for a person looking to express their emotions to that special someone. In essence, it is a collection sure to delight poetry readers of all backgrounds.

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