Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Review of “Poet”: Forty Poems by Paul Gerard Dextraze

Paul Gerard Dextraze has self-published a book of his forty poems. Originally the purpose of his book was to preserve them as a legacy for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. However, as he began to share his writing with his friends he was encouraged to publish his work for the enjoyment of others. He sought out beautiful photographs to complement the subjects of his poems, obtained permission from the photographers to share them, and printed up his book. The purpose of the book was to share his gift with others as a blessing.

Paul’s poems follow the traditional rhyme with rhythm. Most of the poems are in quadrants, either with rhyming couplets or with every other line rhyming with each other. I found this to be a refreshing change from the often confusing ramble of non-traditional poetry. There is even a poem on “Modern Poetry” that discusses this pet-peeve of classic poets.

The poems are on a multitude of topics that hit the high and low notes of every emotion. The humourous poems made me laugh out loud. The sad poems bring tears to the eye but, unlike the poems of Robert Frost, they still have an undercurrent of joy.

Section I, entitled “Humour”, discusses the writing of poetry, animals, aliens, and chastity (in a play of words entitled “Unchased Virgin”). The last of these is followed up by a cartoon in the back of the book in which a reader, puzzled, asks, “Doesn’t he know how to spell ‘Unchaste’? Oh wait - I get it!”

Section II, “Nature”, is a collection of lovely poems about various animals, accompanied by colorful photographs. Even my three-year-old was delighted by them. With the author’s permission, I quote the shortest of them…

A Northern Cardinal Visits a Fool (By Paul Gerard Dextraze)

December rose, I dare to ask
The reason why you wear a mask –
To shield your eyes when snows are bright?
Chip! He says, and takes to flight.

Section III, “Sorrow”, delves into Christ’s life and death, and personal pain. Section IV, “Grief” is composed of some tear-wrenching poems about the loss of a child. Section V, “God’s Love”, shares the omnipresence of God throughout our trials. Section VI, “Rejoicing”, celebrates autumn and Christ’s sacrifice. Section VII, “ Romantic Love”, brings to mind Shakespearean love poetry; it includes a chaste look at marital love. Section VIII, “Love of Child”, covers both the joy of a parent in his or her child and the sorrow of a child who has passed on. Section IX, “In Defense of Babies”, has both an anti-abortion poem and a poem rejoicing in pregnancy.

Anyone interested in this quality book of poetry may email Paul at for the free pdf. A limited number of free hard-copies of his book are available for serious poetry fans.

The picture above is taken from the cover of the poetry book. This picture was taken by Fred Walsh and is copyrighted to him. The link for this picture of the northern male cardinal is

For more of Fred Walsh’s beautiful photographs of birds, please visit his picture blog at

1 comment:

Loren Christie said...

This book of poetry sounds great ELizabeth. It's refreshing to hear a voice like Paul's. I'm putting this post on my list so I can look up his book when I get through my current reading list...thanks!