By Clark Carr on December 8, 2016
“Wolf Pack Moon” is a great title, you have to admit. And the poem of the same title inside is just as good. The whole of the 100 pages is filled with delightful “If I were…” poems. Really a good read, and here’s what’s cool — NOT just if you’re a poet. All of the poems were written, Rensberry says, within a couple months. And they do feel like a close family. There are so many fine lines…
“If I were an onion, I’d make you cry…” from a poem named ‘Bully.’ Very clever.
You begin to get the idea that “If I were…” does not just mean “if” but “when I will…” or “when I was…” or “maybe I am…” Which, of course, is what poetry should be about, along with science fiction. Or daydreaming. Or wishful thinking.
There are serious poems like ‘Wounded’ or ‘San Quentin’ and others that perhaps go a smidgen into the bully pulpit. (How many times do you find ‘Pfizer’ and ‘Monsanto’ in one poem?) Poet’s license.
So many fine lines:
“If I were a lake, I’d hide in the mountains…” Isn’t that so true. (From ‘Mountain Boat’)
“If I were the past, I would be driving a cherry Mercury…” Oh, how one remembers when the word ‘cherry’ had the richness of that meaning.
“If I were a lie, I might be the truth…” Oh, yes, yes. (From ‘Justice’)
And on and on. May I recommend this book to middle school or high school teachers. These are poems that young people would like to read, and you might even be able to get them to recite one aloud. They yearn for that.
Buy this book. Give it to a friend. Maybe even sneak a private read first!
By Clark Carr
Richard Rensberry amazon.com/author/richardrensberry