Widely acclaimed for his verse, Chester Johnson writes poems that, in the words of the literary critic, Edward Mendelson, "range over a wide verbal, intellectual, and emotional territory that includes unsettling moments of darkness in both the inner and outer worlds and reassuring evocations of light. But all its elements cohere in a unified vision. In the phrase of the old Baedeker guides, these landscapes are worth the journey." He was one of two poets on the revision committee of the Psalms for The Episcopal Church, which version now appears in The Book of Common Prayer. One of his poems is also on display at Ground Zero in St. Pauls Chapel and serves as a handout there. Chester Johnson has authored ten chapbooks; drawing on those collections and new verse, he has put together a new book of poetry in St. Pauls Chapel & Selected Shorter Poems that includes both past and recent work. He has had an active business career, being a group head at The Morgan Bank (JP Morgan), Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Treasury, and, for many years now, chairman of his own financial advisory firm for securities sold by states, localities, public authorities and non-profit entities.
Showcasing the poetry of J. Chester Johnson, St. Paul's Chapel And Selected Shorter Poems, demonstrates his unique style in reflecting observations of life and the divine mystery. Radicals: It's OK,/If not laude,/To infect/To disinfect.//Intumesce/A thin process/By pretext/To context.//With work to suggest/And work to protest,/From side to side,/A narrow ride,//As reformers shift into an extreme/To elaborate toward another theme --/Coursing through the next triumphant mist/To assemble where counting doesn't exist.
Whether you are a poetry enthusiast or just a lover of the English language, this book is extraordinarily enjoyable. With poems that range from the meaningful and thought-provoking to the humorous and even a little dirty, this book is worth every penny and gives the reader insight into the human condition regardless of your own experience. I know I will pick it up often over the years - either for a giggle or to reflect on our country's dark hour and the spirit that prevailed.