Thursday, March 05, 2015

Reader's Diary #1126- David Malcolm: Pine Cones and Small Stones

I'm a sucker for haiku; traditional haiku— you know, with natural imagery and subtle, personal epiphanies. David Malcolm does these exceedingly well in his poetry collection, Pine Cones and Small Stones: Poems for Warming in a Cold Climate. All the poems don't meet this description, but perhaps it's their proximity to the many that do, that they all have the same sort of haiku air. They feel like the honest and reflective thoughts of a kindhearted man.

Not that I was in love with all of the poems. Towards the middle of the book, Malcolm seemed to get bogged down with Biblical poetry: haiku and other short poems inspired by Bible verses or simply lifted word for word. I don't mind the occasional literary quote in a book to set the context or mood, and though I don't doubt Malcolm was personally moved by the passages he's shared, they're a bit too plentiful in what is already a short book. It was especially problematic to me as I had been so enjoying Malcolm's own writing and I began at times to feel that I was missing it. 

Fortunately, he eventually moved onto more unique offerings again and overall the book was a quiet but emotional read.


Kim Aippersbach said...

Love the title of this one.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I would find it challenging to get through an entire book of poetry. Is the trick to read it in small snippets?