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On poetry, language and Robert Lee Brewer’s ESCAPE

I used to hate poetry. I blame scholarly literary dissection and school. My memory (which, I admit, may be tainted by early years of accumulated hatred) is one of many hours of tortuous analysis, taking a few simple lines of text that I kind of thought were cool at first but then learned to dread as we hacked and slashed at every syllable, every nuance, every possible interpretation, until there was nothing left except a dry husk that made me want to run from the room screaming “ENOUGH WITH THE RED WHEELBARROW!”

Years later, a poet/librarian friend of mine introduced me to some poems that I actually enjoyed. That I LOVED.

Some poems, I discovered, could be understood and appreciated by the average person. I also learned to love the language of poetry, and became more aware of writing style and the importance of word choice in my own writing. Every word counts, after all, and not just in poetry.

Recently, I purchased Robert Lee Brewer‘s most recent poetry chapbook: Escape. I bought  his first collection, ENTER, because I wanted to support Robert. He’s been a wonderful editor at and great to work with, plus I’ve enjoyed his Poetic Asides blog. But the bonus: I loved Robert’s poetry.

So when I found out that he had a new collection of poems, I ordered one right away. I have no formal poetry scholarly training and have never reviewed poetry before. All I can say, though, is that I LOVED THESE POEMS. They’re full of emotion and music, and a joy to read.

If you’re interested in owning a copy of Escape, send Robert Brewer an e-mail at robertleebrewer[at]gmail[dot]com, with “I Need an Escape” in the subject line. Price: $10 (which includes shipping to anywhere in the world). Do it before they sell out!

p.s. I actually do like The Red Wheelbarrow now.

Also see Debbie’s Reading Journal as well as Debbie’s Bookstagram.