Walks Along the Ditch, by Bill Tremblay, is reflective poetry collection themed on the everyday awe found in nature and the world around us. Tremblay masterfully crafts simile and metaphor to form vivid word pictures that fill the mind’s eye and cause readers to contemplate the human condition and our natural environment, such as the vision he creates in his poem, Blue Heron.
“…It flaps its wings, one-thousand one,
one-thousand two, its pitch is changed,
its back-flaps open like Fred Astaire’s vest
on a mirrored floor. Settled, its crest
shaken out, the Ichabod steps slow
on his stalks with ganglionic grace
toward bull rushes gathering clouds
like a weaver at her shuttle, then
darting his long yellow chopsticks,
pulls a wriggling crawfish out,
cracking its shell, guzzling the meat
down its sink-catch throat…”
This collection of poems are calming and meditative, stirring new consideration of things familiar and known, but perhaps not often noticed. The artistry of his descriptions is no more apparent than in two lines from his poem, Before Dawn, “…Dawn light trills its piccolos. / Huge back ghosts become watermelon pink foothills…” It’s a new turn for Tremblay, whose moving narrative poetry of the past, such as The Magician’s Hat, a historical poetic collection around the life of Mexico’s muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros, has commented on historical events, persons and eras. Walks Along the Ditch marks growth of Tremblay’s talent and takes his word craft to another plane.
I give Walks Along the Ditch four quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read, and she never charges for them. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.