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Most of the time we look at our lives from the back side of the tapestry. All we see are loose threads, tangled knots, and the mistakes we made in the process. Once in awhile, we see the light shining through the weaving and the larger design appears, the beautiful side that everyone else sees. In this, her first book of poems, Sharon Canfield Dorsey weaves a poetic pilgrimage through life’s maze of joy, pathos, obstacles, and victories. Told with honesty and humor, it is a reminder that the human spirit overcomes, heals, and finds joy at all ages. Sharon grew up in Appalachia. This daughter of a coal miner takes you along on her journey through divorce, single parenting, and meeting her soul mate in her forties. Her poems reflect a lifetime of searching for roots, truth, justice, and love. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, they inspire the want-a-be “dragon slayer” that lives in each of us.
The Reality and Fantasy of My World is an example of accessible modern poetry with both beauty and power. The book is divided into five discrete parts, linked only by the writer’s style. Part One takes eight holidays and brings out interesting aspects of each, describing why they, above others, are days for celebration. Part Two addresses eight other special days that should be honored with solemn reflection and remembrance. The eight poems in Part Three all have a flavor of history, such as one that describes the exciting actions leading to the United States putting an end to Barbary piracy in 1815. In Part Four, the author relates incidents from his past that he thought interesting - and in some cases embarrassing. Part Five comprises stories - all from the mind of the poet. In 2013, Lull published a book, entitled Creating Form Poetry: A Poet’s Handbook. It provides instruction on how to write thirty-three different poetry forms. In responding to questions, he has expressed that his favorite form to write is the English sonnet, sometimes referred to as the Elizabethan or Shakespearean sonnet. He included one of those in Part 2, The Final Honor. Also when asked which is the most difficult to write, he responded without hesitation: Sestina. It is a 39-line poem with repetition of end-line words in all stanzas - but in a different specified order. See The Life and Death of Spring in Part 3. Lull added that he had included a poem form that he invented; he called it “Eds Cinquain.” It has unspecified number of 5-line stanzas, but each stanza has specified meter and rhyme requirements, including that the fifth line in all stanzas must rhyme. An example may be found in Part 5, entitled: The Killer Beast. In summary, The Reality and Fantasy of My World, is an adventure for the reader in poetic variety in forms, subjects, and moods, all written in Lull’s easy-to-read style. 1. In Part 5, The Gale, is an ekphrastic poem based upon a painting entitled The Sea. 2. In Part 2, God’s Call was written in remembrance of the author’s first-born son who died as an infant. 3. In Part 3, The New Dominion was written to be the “Official” Virginia State Poem. It isn’t. 4. In Part 4, the embarrassing incident from Fairway Folly actually happened as described. 5, The End of Barbary Piracy in Part 3 was one of fourteen lengthy poems about sea adventures in the fledgling American Navy put into a book titled The Sailors. It was dedicated to USNA midshipmen. The U.S. Naval Institute Press rejected it for publication with a terse - “We don’t do poetry.”