Debut author Schorr reflects on love, family, and faith in this set of poems written in northern New England.
Maine’s former poet laureate Wesley McNair once said that “the people of Maine seem to really like poems and poetry, especially poems that come out of life experiences.” So perhaps it’s no surprise that after the Indiana-born Schorr moved to the state, he began writing, too. The result is this sprawling volume, bursting with more than 200 works. Schorr’s subject matter is best described as occasional, and he ranges widely in his reflections, writing on topics as varied as forgiveness, marriage, life in a security state, and the change of seasons. The poem on the last of these, “Summer’s Passing,” is one of the strongest in the collection; it opens, “Something in the air / Just didn’t feel right. / The mighty oak / First sensed it / With a chill / That dilly-dallied / Far too long.” The passage is exemplary of Schorr’s style: direct, conversational, unpretentious. The poet prefers short lines, and his brief stanzas are less full meals than they are tasty morsels. For the most part, this preference makes for extremely readable poetry; only occasionally does it lead him astray, as when he lets too many lines shrink to single words, or even monosyllables, as in “Snowflakes”: “When / The storm is over, / There will be no survivals. / Only / A panoramic view / Of what was once / A battlefield / Whose scars / Have temporarily / Been hidden / By / Nature.” There seems little need for “when” “only” and “by” to each have its own line, and Schorr’s decision has the effect of fracturing his verse and disrupting its flow. But for the most part, his poetry is expressive and easy to digest.
An often engaging collection that readers will savor.