In The Murmuring Trees (2012)
Reviewed By: The Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review selects new books and films of interest, as well as paid submissions and sponsored reviews from authors, publishers, directors, agents and producers.
“In The Murmuring Trees” by R. Tirrell Leonard JR. is an imaginative volume of poems and prose of great spirit, rich creativity, and three-dimensional imagery.
Readers of poetry often seek to understand not only the meaning of the words themselves, but to perceive who the poet really is. One might speculate that Leonard may be revealing himself best with the first line in the poem “A Post in Furies Winds:” “I know I differ from the normal view …”
This collection of poems and prose is also a unique exploration of a common sentiment – love – but here it is to a place, as the title of another song reads: “A Magical Country Dance.” One cannot miss Mr. Leonard’s deep love for the State of Massachusetts — both its people (Contemporary and natives) and its raw physical beauty (land and coast).
Most of the pieces may fit on one page, but many would serve as food for thought for a whole evening. And while the poet speaks of losing his voice, his writing comes across loud and clear with great charm and natural rythm. Adding to this volume’s value for the reader are snippets of true perception and tickling humor. For example, who among us, lovers of poetry, don’t remember a sleepless night made longer by the crickets singing through the open window, driving us “near the brink.”
In particular, some of Mr. Leonard’s poetry attains the cloak of youthful wit, alluding to figures from the sphere of fantasy and the world of magic, which would make much of this volume easily accessible and happily enjoyable for younger readers, as well.
In summary, this meticulous and beautiful collection leaves the reader shaken, elated and reflective, perhaps as the poet concludes the title poem (or close to it), “In Murmurings Through Trees:” “Skies with lightning flashes bright and brawling, fill my mind with wonders still and installing.” Indeed!