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Visible Magic Reviewed by Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Saturday, January 13, 2024


Poet: Charles Dowling Williams

ISBN: 9781737639534

Upon delving intoaward-winning Kentucky native Charles D. Williams’ recent Haikucollection, Visible Magic, I was immediatelycaptivated by his remarkable ability to distill the intricacies ofhuman experience and the natural world into concise words, evokingmoments of profound reflection and connection.

Williams takes us on acaptivating journey through all four seasons, skillfully craftingHaiku that serve as vivid snapshots of the changing tapestry ofnature. 

Drawing inspiration fromdecades of farm journal entries, his keen observations and profoundreverence for the natural world shine through in each poem. Beyondmere description, his verses interweave the elements of farm life,the changing landscape, and the interconnectedness of nature. 

For those unfamiliar withHaiku, it is a traditional Japanese poetry form celebrated for itsbrevity and simplicity. Its charm lies in its capacity to encapsulatea moment or evoke a feeling with a few words. 

Haiku comes from a kind ofBuddhism called Zen, which likes being in the present moment andfinding beauty in ordinary things. Additionally, the poems exploreuniversal themes such as impermanence and the cyclical nature oflife. These broader concepts make haikus resonate with individualsacross diverse cultures, fostering a connection through sharedemotions and experiences. 

The poems are concise,just three lines with a certain number of syllables in each line.This brevity makes Haiku writers focus on the most critical parts oftheir thoughts. It often talks about nature and the seasons, usingwords that show the time of year. 

For example, if we referto Williams’ opening of his collection, “Summer,” we notice thevivid snapshot of the season.

first dawn of summer-

basso profundo choice

old buildings singing

sleepy summer rain

hillside of ox-eye daisies

a Buddha napping."

With a classic 5-7-5syllable structure, the poem beautifully captures the first dawn ofsummer, old buildings singing with nostalgia, sleepy summer rain, ahillside adorned with ox-eye daisies, and a tranquil scene of aBuddha napping. The brevity enhances the impact, promising readers acollection that reflects on the simplicity and beauty of summer,weaving together rich sensory details and moments of reflection.

The beauty of Haiku andWilliams’ poems is that although brief, they make you feel deepemotions and reflect. Using simple words and pictures lets yourimagination see different things in the verse.

Another example fromWilliams’ collection is the following: 

last day of winter-

viewing my neighbor’sspring lambs

their ears twitchsideways.”

Here, he captures theessence of transition and the cyclical nature of seasons, from winterto spring. He begins on the “last day of winter” by observing“spring lambs” in a neighbor’s surroundings. Williams adds avivid touch by mentioning the lambs’ ears twitching sideways,making the scene more alive for readers. In addition, there is also asubtle sense of community as he focuses on the neighbor’s lambs,suggesting a shared appreciation for nature. 

The tone shiftspositively, signaling renewal and hope with the arrival of spring.Williams’ simplicity of language and imagery invites readers toreflect on the beauty of nature’s cycles and shared experienceswithin a community. 

The poem is undoubtedlyopen to interpretation, allowing readers to bring their own emotionsand experiences to the poem. 

Inthe 28September 2022 entrywehave a great example of how a short poem can express deep feelings.It discusses a specific day four months later, describing eightlively puppies and comparing their barking to a joyful “HallelujahChorus.” This Haiku shows how poetry can capture the happiness ofmemorable moments, even in a few words. It’s a simple and beautifulillustration of how language can convey the magic of fleetingexperiences. 

eight big pups barking

their Hallelujah Chorus-

the sound of blessings.”

These are only a fewexamples of William’s Haikus, each serving as poetic snapshots thatskillfully distill moments of nature, transition, and joy intoconcise and evocative verses. Through the simplicity of language andvivid imagery, these haikus capture the beauty of fleetingexperiences and invite readers to reflect, fostering a sharedappreciation for the profound emotions woven into the tapestry ofeveryday life. 

Williams’ concise poemsstir profound emotions and provide contemplative moments, renderingVisible Magic essential for anyone eager to delve into thecaptivating influence of Haiku and its exploration of universalthemes. Grab a copy of Visible Magic and submerge yourself inshort powerful moments where a few lines of verse capture deepfeelings and the beauty of life. It's like taking a quiet break fromthe noise, finding pictures and emotions painted with simple wordsthat stay with you.

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 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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