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Bewildering Stories

Carol Reid writes about...

John Stocks’ “The Letter”

I am quite tiresome in my insistence that I’m not interested in poetry. Just ask any long-suffering members of my “flesh and blood” writers’ group! John Stocks’ poems consistently make a liar out of me.

Many of the images in “The Letter” make my fingertips tingle. The “soft bulge” of the envelope, “the old love as solid as mahogany, pressed against the soft leather of her bureau.”

I’m so there.

“she felt the pulse
Of his long-distance love”

Yep, feeling it.

Carol Reid

Copyright © 2008 by Carol Reid

Thank you, Carol. I’m sure you speak for multitudes. John Stocks’ poems have a hypnotic effect, where time stands still for us and encourages endless rereading. I have to invent errands to run in order to break their spell.

The poems are often like still-life paintings, where the more you look at them, the more there is to see. And to feel: “The Letter” is very tactile. And to hear: “Norwegian Sunset,” in this issue, accompanies color with music, as in:

The languid lapping of oars on ocean

John has said of some of his poems that they are taken from real life. “Norwegian Sunset” is one. They all provide a model for the transformation of perception with depth and clarity.


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