Click Here To Purchase The Bright Side of Life

Author: Richard Langdon Cook

Publisher: Peppertree Press
ISBN: 978-1-936343-63-8
 
The topics that are covered in this collection of light verse range widely, from sport (golf, cricket and rugby) to the boudoir (“Anteriors” and “Sleeping Beauty”). What distinguishes light verse from that which is more serious? According to the Wikipedia, light verse is “poetry that attempts to be humorous. Poems considered ‘light’ are usually brief, and can be on a frivolous or serious subject, and often feature word play, including puns, adventurous rhyme and heavy alliteration. Typically, light verse in English is formal verse.” Although some of the topics that poet Richard Langdon Cook covers in his verse might be considered sacrosanct by some, his roguish sense of humor prevails throughout. His poems vary from four lines to a few pages, and tend, with the exception of “Catharsis,” to be formal in structure.  
 
Cook’s
humor seldom falls short of the mark, yet is never barbed or acerbic. His approach is gentle and sure. Keenly aware of the foibles of humankind and how they tend to impact on their environs, many of his poems are about animals that seem so consciously at times to reflect on humans. (Witness a heron summing up the motley array of golfers on the tee in “A Birdie on the Fourth”.) Cook shows his whimsical approach to such creatures in suggesting, in “Geckos,” how they could best behave in human terms: “How do geckos survive winters chill? / We know that they thrive on the heat. / It’s likely they would fare a lot better / If they could slip on a nice wooly sweater, / And wear something warm on their feet.” If that sounds ever so vaguely British to you, small wonder, as Cook was born and raised in London, travelled extensively throughout his life, and is currently retired and living with his wife in Sarasota. 

 
Whimsical and droll, Cook’s poems project the vision of a man who has seen a great swathe of life on both sides of the Atlantic. Several of his poems are based on the author’s experiences in foreign lands, a fact that he carefully notes at the end of all such verse. Places visited and mused upon include Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (in the somewhat ironical “Bunjee”), Phuket, Thailand (in the poignant “Fisherman”), and Barcelona, Spain (in a tongue-in-cheek exposé of tourism in foreign places). Cook’s Nipponese experiences (he managed Johnson & Johnson’s business operations in Japan and South Africa during his 42 years of working for the company) are revealed through numerous poems indicating the lighter side of intercultural encounters, in which he clearly shows his ability to poke fun at himself.
 
Jordie Bellaire’s deftly drawn illustrations that accompany the text add the final touch to making this a worthwhile collection of verse to acquire. Tantalizing and teasing, The Bright Side of Life should make an ideal addition to any collection of overnight reading that you might provide for your guests.              
 
Click Here To Purchase The Bright Side of Life