- Paperback: 92 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 19, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 149229375X
- ISBN-13: 978-1492293750
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,204,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Musings After Midnight Paperback – November 19, 2013
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Musings After Midnight by Miles Dean
A second book of poetry by Miles Dean, Musings After Midnight, has arrived just in time for Christmas. Showing remarkable range, this stunning collection presents poems, which vary from the touching memories of long ago and the sly humor of adolescence to the profoundly moving pieces in “Scenes from Poland”.
Laugh out loud funny are the hilarious poems about adolescence: “Back in Those Days” where an effort to impress a girl by water skiing for over two hours from the U.S. to Canada had disastrous consequences; “Criticism” with a predictably bad result and “The Notebook”, yet another of his futile efforts to impress the girls. If only, as he yearned in “Out of Time, he could have contrived to happily lead a life of “licentiousness” and then repent just in time.
In his humorous pieces, Dean’s word choice is nothing short of delightful. “Curb Appeal”, is surprisingly, about a blind man. In a lighthearted piece about country life, “ Road Warriors”, two geese give each other “high fives of the honking kind”. But in “Ever” country life has another side when the poet sadly describes litter as ”aluminum rabbits, tattered lace and ghost offerings”.
The Yin and Yang of the hilarious and the sad appears again in the midst of the droll group of funny poems about life in Appalachia. The bitter tone of “Buffalo Creek” calls out the mining companies, which have stripped coal and money from the earth and left an ugly legacy of scarred land and poisoned streams in which mines, creeks and toxins “met in a fatal embrace”.
The darkest poems are those in “Scenes From Poland” when the camp guard offers to “Let me show you” the brutality and the horror of “Ghosts” delivered into the embrace of the camps “final solution”. And a quiet terror permeates “the Train was Late”. But also in this group of poems from the poet’s life in Poland is “Walk in the Tatras”. Here the elegant word choice describes the terror of slipping off the icy ridge causing the hikers to pirouette “in a Lipizzaner dance across the snow”. The other pieces in the “Scenes from Poland” are deeply and sadly meditative, pondering the casual and the cruel with simplicity; here Dean is at his most compelling.
In a collection of such diversity, it is hard to select one poem which best conveys the theme of the poetry. There are poems, which are touching, others sad, some bitter and others hilarious. The word craft is both subtle and sly, teasing the reader. In other poems the author bares his heart, but touches ours. But of the entire volume, the poem which best captures the essential theme is “Butterfly” also from the poems from Poland. There Dean writes, “As the Butterfly flaps its wings” each small act has greater and greater consequences until the world is overwhelmed, and the universe is moved by the flutter.
The reader will be moved by these poems.
Miles was born July 6, 1941, the son of William and June Dean. He is survived by Rebecca Stoia Dean, his wife of over 50 years; his children, Sean & Gretchen, Matthew & Shannon, and Jason & Meredith; and his grandchildren, Caitlin, Madeline, William, Kurt, Samantha, and Benjamin. He cherished spending time with his family, especially watching his grandchildren compete in academics and sports and perform in theater groups and choruses.
Miles published three books of poetry, "Furrows in Parchment" (2012), "Musings after Midnight" (2013), and "New River Reflections" (2015). He received awards from West Virginia Writers Inc. for both poetry and prose, read selections of his work at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre at the annual Literary Teas in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and podcast his work through West Virginia Writers Inc.
Miles had a long career as a Certified Public Accountant and financial executive at several major public US firms, served eight years in appointed positions in WV state government, including Commissioner of Finance & Administration and Director of the Governor's Office of Community & Economic Development, and went overseas at 49 for a stint in the Peace Corps in Poland. He returned home to raise sheep, spend time with his family, and write. While living in Michigan, Miles regularly prepared and served food at soup kitchens in Lapeer and Detroit, Michigan. After moving back to West Virginia, Miles volunteered with local organizations, including serving as president of the Raleigh County Friends of the Library and as a member of Fayette County Planning Commission.
Memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Saint John XXIII Pastoral Center, 100 Hodges Rd., Charleston, WV. Service will be held 3 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen (1820 Mount Elliott St., Detroit, MI 48207) or Doctors Without Borders (https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/onetime.cfm).
- See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/gz/Obituaries#sthash.nHqGQ6Gm.dpuf