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Book Review: Poetic Perceptions



Poetic Perceptions


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Poetic Perceptions
by D Phil



    Publication Date: Jul 02, 1905
    Format: Hardcover
    Classification: Poetry
    Page Count: 43
    ISBN13: 9780984278305
    Imprint: To Be Determined
    Publisher: To Be Determined
    Parent Company: To Be Determined


    Read To Be Determined’s description of Poetic Perceptions

    Book Reviewed by Robert Fleming


    Some African-American critics yearn for a return to the fire and passion of the revolutionary fervor of the 1960s Black Arts Movement, but there are many clear, perceptive voices such as D Phil, who are now concocting wise, practical poetic cures for today's Black community in this supposedly post-racial America. His book of poetry, Poetic Perceptions, addresses head-on the challenges and obstacles of daily life, the inner soul, parenting, family, and the responsibilities of relationships in this confused society.

    D Phil, aka Daniel Phillip Webster, a former photojournalist with the U.S. Army, states his debut book of poetry was written "with the intentions of enlightenment and empowerment for both genders and all generations." These are lofty aspirations for a book such as this, but the poet sets a high standard with "A Mighty Good Man," where he touts the strength, values and integrity of a male who honors his wife, supports his children, and assumes responsibility for his family. In his heartfelt poem, "When A Man Loves A Woman," he celebrates the sheer magic of love and romance, with its countless mood swings, its obsession with pleasing her, and its sublime joy of being together in times both good and bad.

    D Phil's wry observations in "That's My Child" traces the age-old journey from infancy to the threshold of adulthood. His poetry sums up a stunning collection of images of growth, development, and maturity, resulting in the painful moment when the child leaves the nest to begin a new life away from Mom and Dad. This snippet tells it all:

    I have given you guidance on how to take your own steps
    I am content with my efforts and I have no regrets
    I hope you understand your choices govern your life
    That you're responsible for your success or your strife

    In "Generations of Men," he discusses the mutual emotional and spiritual tug-of-war between father and son, cutting through the nonsense of Freudian gibberish to real talk, coming from a person who has experienced both roles. His words are defiant, provocative, and proud in one of his finer works, "Black American History," where he pays tribute to our ancestors and warriors who sacrificed their lives for a full American citizenship. Again, the reader will marvel at his take on the political aftermath of the 9-11 tragedy in "New American Way," especially in his blistering comments on how the public was duped and the tyranny of the American military empire:

    We followed a fraud to blame enemies abroad
    but it's the enemy within we should not have ignored
    Our wealth went to moguls when our economy went global
    We don't need a stimulus; we need to buy and sell local

    Other poems showcase his keen sense of spiritual knowledge and secular comprehension in "Our Evil Eyes," "The Devil's Pawn," and "The Righteous Ones," highlighting topics as the influence of the Antichrist, temptations, the soul-robbing corporate world, hate and violence, and the need for truth. Some of the stanzas are delivered with the fire-and-brimstone cadence of a Baptist preacher to his flock.

    D Phil can be hilarious as he tickles our funny bone in his satirical poem, "Ms. Understanding," choosing each word with the screwball precision of a comedian on a roll in front of an adoring crowd:

    Misunderstanding operates with he said she said
    She conspires with her sisters, Misconstrue and Misled
    By the time they get finished, you get off running with rage
    Up in arms and on fire, but not on the right page

    Although this is a brief volume, there are other treats to be found, with poems such as "The Evil That Men Do," "Mr. Opportunity," and "The Time Of Your Life." The poet has a well-tuned ear, a love of language, a sharp wit, and a technical precision of form that enhances and embellishes the main themes. Anyone who enjoys reflective, purposeful poetic commentary should add D Phil's Poetic Perceptions to your library. (end)



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