Foreword Reviews

A World Diverse

Poems

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

A World Diverse collects well-crafted poetic musings and flowing, hard-earned wisdom.

David Edmond’s A World Diverse lays out one man’s philosophy of life, love, religion, and loss with thoughtfulness and pathos.

Edmond, a Scottish-Canadian poet, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for more than thirty years. After his wife died following a struggle with Parkinson’s disease, he was inspired to write; this chapbook ably explores his grief, sorrow, and fledgling steps to love again, while also looking back ruminatively on his life.

Straightforward language expresses ideas clearly, but still with style. The opening poem, “Life,” makes great use of an extended metaphor about how life is like a jigsaw puzzle; some pieces reveal little, while others “bring meaning to every piece around them.” “The flower and us” takes a similar approach to detailing how lives are like flowers that wither or flourish, depending on conditions.

The poems use similes and symbolism very sparingly, and then mostly as clichés, as with “twists and turns” or “being adrift at sea.” The pieces are serious-minded and make no effort at wit, largely eschewing alliteration and assonance in favor of a more colloquial voice.

But the poems make excellent use of other literary devices, especially repetition, that lift them to lyrical heights, such as enumerating freedoms in three consecutive lines or opening every stanza with the word “happiness.” The poems have the capacity to surprise, as when death is described as the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle of life.

Poems are extremely earnest; their unadorned language works to great effect. The architecture is solid. Stanzas are well-constructed and of generally consistent length. Some taper off with progressively shrinking lines, ending with a single word that echoes resoundingly—a structure that can be powerful.

Though mostly free verse with a foray into rhyming couplets, the poems attain a mellifluous musicality. The spare, elegant verbiage is arranged in a way that rolls off the tongue. At some points, abstractions and a lack of specificity trip the work up.

The slender book is well organized, divided into the sections “Faith,” “Friendships,” and “Feelings.” Faith informs much of the book, with poems elucidating the author’s religious beliefs, including that everything in the universe is imbued with meaning, purpose, and order. Poems like “In God’s world” and “Oh Lord, what can I do?” are sincere and deeply personal reflections. Whereas religious poetry can sometimes seem like regurgitated orthodoxy, these poems come across as authentically felt, the unique thoughts of a poet who spent a lifetime cultivating an individualized point of view that happened to be informed by religion.

A World Diverse collects well-crafted poetic musings and flowing, hard-earned wisdom.

Reviewed by Joseph S. Pete

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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