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Compass: New and Selected Poems Reviewed By John Cowans of Bookpleasures.com
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John Cowans

Reviewer John Cowans: John was a University, College, and School English teacher for over 40 years, John Cowans now lives in retirement in Chester., Nova Scotia.

 
By John Cowans
Published on June 8, 2012
 

Author: Erik Hansen

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 978-1-4327-8696-0



Follow Here To Purchase Compass: New and Selected Poems

Author: Erik Hansen

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 978-1-4327-8696-0


It is a sad fact, I think, that the vast number of willing readers do not choose to read poetry regularly. Whether this is the result of unhappy experiences in school or simply intellectual laziness I am not sure, but if a change of mind were ever to occur then I would suggest Erik Hansen ‘s Compass: New and Selected Poems as a beginning. I say this because in this attractive little volume one finds a series of poems doing what poems should do. They should surprise the reader, should create  small bursts of light like  newly struck matches as in a chance meeting with a Bobcat ‘...padding its way along/An old stone wall...’, or in the lonely patrolling of  the wandering wolf existing only through ‘Rumors of his passage...’, or the passing of a storm ‘...sweeping the clouds/From the night sky...’ These impressions create for us flashes of recognition- we see common things, uncommonly: as if for the first time. ‘...organized violence on language.’ Robert Frost called it because of the imaginative energy created in the reader.

Erik Hansen attended Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vermont where he earned degrees in English and Criminal Justice and he also studied in Oxford, England. He is an avid outdoorsman and is a member of the Connecticut Poetry Society and the Academy of American Poets. He currently lives and works in Glastonbury, Connecticut.

This collection uses the compass as a metaphor for the places Erik Hansen has lived or just visited.  Bennington, Vermont, Oxford, England, and Glastonbury, Connecticut to name a few. Unlike many poets, the author does  not write just for other poets; his work is designed to inspire  readers of all ages and experience. Were I still teaching high school English I would certainly introduce poems such as ‘Rain’, ‘Sunset’, and ‘Fear’ to my students as encouragement not just to readers but writers as well.

Compass: New  and Selected Poems is highly readable, and experienced poets as well as neophytes will find much joy here.


Follow Here To Purchase Compass: New and Selected Poems