Book Review: Christopher Roe’s Morning Glory Blues

 

Author Christopher Roe started writing seriously about five years ago. He has since released 44 volumes of poetry, along with a few other publications. Roe is well ahead of the self-publication curve, and his poems do a nice job of backing up the investment he put in himself.

Roe has a fun writing style that gives his poems a certain ease. He doesn’t pummel the reader with word play, which makes the first read-through enjoyable and easy to comprehend. Some poems feature an ABAB or AA BB rhyming pattern, while others flow free with less structure. A lot of his works seems to be a stream of consciousness, which he confirmed for me with a quote in “The Ghost of Time.”

“Where a new thought merely echoes an old one

And my poetry is a stream of consciousness;

Mine and the ghost of time melded into one

Reflecting an inner voice heavy with its history.”

These four lines from Roe do a nice job of describing his writing style and topics. A strength of Roe’s is that he doesn’t overthink things, which a lot of writers have a habit of doing (just pay attention to the written dialogue in TV shows). He keeps it simple and even throughout.

Roe goes in-depth on some personal struggles that he had in 2016. After an injury due to a fall, Roe found himself recovering and trapped at Water View Villa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. To him, this was a prison, but it led to his most powerful writing in this volume. He called the 13 poems he wrote during his time “The Water View Series.” Not every poem written during this time touches on the struggles of physical rehabilitation, but every poem paints a picture of the state of mind Roe was in and the personal torture he was going through. My favorite poem of the book is the last in this series, “Pile of Leaves,” using leaves as a metaphor for life’s moments that have passed by.

Roe packs a lot of punch into these 80 poems. It’s not a long read, as very few poems are more than a page, and I don’t think any are more than two. Roe does give a lot to ponder, as his words are full of emotions and ideas. He lets readers into his world for a bit for some deeper moments, but also gives plenty of lighthearted writing.

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