Poems and Other Nonsense
by Dexter Satterwhite

"And they will be one with each other
As through their lives they go
Like the merging of two rivers,
Their combined waters flow."

Tucked within themes of fleeting time, nostalgia, and remembrance is a collection of poetry that thoroughly experiments with both form and content. Much of Satterwhite’s compilation captures emotions at particular points of the lifespan. However, what begins with lighthearted poems like “When Mary Turned Forty” takes on a distinctively pensive, almost cynical tone in some later poems like “Lament.”

Satterwhite is fearless when it comes to form, which is exemplified best in the swaying, flowing winds of the word structure in “Dunes” and the one-line per letter “Alphabet Poem.” His ability to effectively employ figurative language is undeniable with his abundant use of personification—particularly of the sun and moon—and his handling of numerous poetic forms such as the Shakespearean sonnet.

The compilation begins in May 1989 and nearly traverses the next three decades until the present. There is a freshness to these poems; they are heartfelt, dynamic, and unassuming. Though many of the poems touch on the bond of marriage, many others, including “So There,” simply poke fun at the poet himself. Satterwhite’s sheer joy in simply writing poetry reverberates through poems like “Perils of Thought,” where the speaker ruminates on life while sitting on the toilet.

The diversity within the compilation is commendable. While there are witty poems, there are also thought-provoking ones like “The Price of Freedom,” lush with the imagery of a red battlefield of one’s brethren. As the compilation progresses, Satterwhite’s focus shifts periodically to spirituality in “Climbing the Winding Stair.”Overall, poetry aficionados who are looking for a meaningful read while getting a good laugh will relish the varied nature of Satterwhite’s work.

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