Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (10/18)
“Vice and Virtue” by Paul Kloschinsky is a poetry book nothing like I have read before. The book’s subtitle is “A Poetic Celebration of Fun,” which made me think it was a book of light poems. However, I found them to be much more than that. I found the content filled with deep messages that prompted reflation of each poem’s topic. Each poem is complemented with an illustration which is also thought provoking and enigmatic. As well, I found each poem unique in its message and had its own voice. Some rhyme more than others, yet they all flow with a distinct melody. I have too many favorites to name out of this collection, but here are some of them to illustrate the eclectic theme collection: ‘Marginal Psalm, Song to Transience, Ode to the Crescent Moon, Spirit, More Than Mere Flesh.” To give you a sample taste of Kloshinsky’s introspective poetry, I share a small one named ‘Repose’:
I seek though I might never find,
a place of repose from the minds of men.
Whose honor leads to acts of war,
Or lust after glory as their only end.
The pretty, the greedy assault my soul,
with their clinging to the collective views,
like children who can’t stand on their own,
they throw at all they don’t understand ridicule.
This place sometimes I get a glimpse,
while enslaved in the concrete urban sprawl,
in a patch of grass or a lonely tree,
the residue of Eden before the fall,
Alas, how the find such a garden fair,
where mighty pan roams the mountain slopes,
when they’ve paved and constructed one big strip mall,
leaving just a few scraps to give me hope.’
Beautiful, haunting, ‘Repose’ pulls the emotion right out of the reader, as do many others. Overall, “Vice and Virtue” by Paul Kloschinsky is a well-written, deep, eclectic collection of insightful and thought-provoking poetry…a must read for poetry lovers, and even for all other readers, as the topics and thoughts shared are relatable to all. I highly recommend it as a five-star collection!