Monday 7 July 2008

Book Review

Here is the first post in my series of book reviews and recommendations.

Book Review of The Long and Short of It by Gretchen Lee Bourquin:

Author Gretchen Lee Bourquin manages to write a contemporary and intimate slice of life in her book of poetry, The Long and Short of It.

The Long and Short of It is a book of twenty-five poems that the author divides into four categories: Poems at Play, a selection of graceful and whimsical verses; A Celebration of Craft, insightful poetry into the skill of writing and the muse; Finding a Place, a variety of introspective poems; and Poetry of Conscience, a commentary on different societal conditions.

Ms. Bourquin has a strong voice, a straightforward style and thankfully, does not indulge in overly fluffy prose. She knows how to capture a visual image, and reinforce it with emotional impact.

In the poem “Permission” she pens:

“She wraps herself inside her flannel tomb
to ward off chills that rival winter's breath.
She wonders how she'll dare to grant herself
a chance to move outside her inner shell,
and pull herself from self-inflicted death.”

One poem in particular I enjoyed was her “Casey at the Bat” sequel, “Casey in the Dugout.” Not only was it an amusing comment on the original poem, but I believe it holds satiric significance for today’s game of baseball.

She writes:

“Once the field was emptied and the crowd had been dispersed,
Casey's loyal fans did yell at him and tell him he's the worst
The once compliant baseball fans became an angry mob
And those who'd begged for autographs, now called the man a slob”

The author knows how to paint an effective portrait in verse, while quietly weaving in her unique view of the world. Her poetry is a gentle vista of the everyday. The Long and Short of It has no extraordinary, philosophical musings, but does offer quiet observations, intermingling with a few perceptive opinions.

Gretchen Lee Bourquin graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Literature/Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, and garnered some early writing success with various publications. She has, in addition to The Long and Short of It, a published novel No Sensible People. Her biography and book information can be found on her website:

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