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flowers to the torch: American Tanka Prose Paperback – May 29, 2015
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In Hamill’s case, that form was a newspaper column. For Peter Fiore, its “tanka prose,” a spin-off from tanka poetry, which, much like “haiku,” is another short form of Japanese poems.
In this very fine collection of beautifully crafted, hybrid pieces--part autobiography, part imagination/invention, part poetry, part prose--Peter Fiore has indeed found the form that best suits his writing sensibility; the form, in other words, that allows him to express his deepest and most personal thoughts, insights, and feelings about what another poet, Art Beck, calls “the game of life.”
In language that’s lyrical and poetic as well as direct and forthcoming, Fiore, though his invented persona, Rocco, is for the most part, writing about his life: the dreams, disillusions, hurts, and struggles as well as the fleeting moments of wonder, pleasure, and delight. He reveals his passions: tennis, music, women, and fatherhood among them. And he discloses his doubts, fears, and uncertainties--about relationships, about his own sense of who he is, and about death and dying.
There’s a lot of earned wisdom here. In writing about his own life, Peter Fiore is expressing what it means, what it feels like to be human. Readers will identify and connect with the author’s struggles; they’ll recall their own hopes and yearnings; and recognize their successful and failed dreams.
And speaking as a writer, isn’t that what we all strive for?
Flights of imagination spring suddenly from very realistic life encounters, creating a rush of time back into the past and then leaping into the future and settling back again to the world as we know it. The prose poems, sometimes quiet and tender, sometimes loud and gritty, are always lyrical, sparse and compact.
From the layout and design to the very real moments of recognition, these poems will sometimes break your heart, sometimes make you laugh, sometimes make you shudder, and always they will propel you onto the next page.
I was captivated by this man's journey via this collection and enjoyed the fearless way in which Fiore looks at his protagonist. His writing is spare but beautifully crafted so that every word counts. I hope people dont pass this work by,