Varied, dexterous, and tender poems…
Froilan’s latest is a collection of imaginative, evocative free verse poems. There is introspection. There are thoughtful reflections and musings about life, love, and happiness. Some poems touch upon racial and class disparity, woke culture, current political climate, and environmental issues. Others talk about disdain, judgment, approval, and opinion. “rhyme or reason,” captures a struggling writer’s pain as success constantly eludes them: “my will is panhandling optimism from the gods./ is this all for nothing?/ why bother?/ i’m going to die a nameless writer./ i will be forgotten like outdated calendars.” But by the poem’s end, the protagonist’s mood is upbeat again. The same applies to many other poems, which start on a negative note but carry the message of resilience and strength nonetheless (“kick in the teeth,” “grand rising”). There are poetic portraits of deep-rooted memories, old love, and longing: “before we even knew it,/ we were just a couple of introverts smiling and swaying/ in an empty room/ filled with our hopes and sorrows/ as the silent choir of angels chanted/ to the melody of our pressed-up hearts.” And Froilan’s own life generates hope, bracing insight in “also”: “sometimes i worry if i’m too much./ the extra of nothingness./ a bonus./ a supplement./ overkill of chill./ overheating./ overthinking./ overlooking./ overstating./ overreacting./ but then i remember/ we all go under/ and i save myself/ from a headache.” In “cutting remark,” the simplicity of the prose doesn’t take away the depth of the meaning: “some days death is within spitting distance/ taunting us/ and mocking our existence/ with no end./ provoking us/ to show heart and make a move./ to prove ourselves worthy of life.” Straightforward and touching, they are easy to fall in love with. Lovers of contemporary poetry will be entranced by Froilan’s simple language and subtle rhythms. A winner.
By Michael Froilan
Pub date October 24, 2021
Price $17.00 (USD) Paperback, $0.00 Kindle edition