Eleven Sundry Flowers
by Frank Mundo
Antrim House

"For days my blossom never does appear. I yank out hunks of hair hand over fist."

The poems in this exceptional volume inspire romantic love. The poet expresses joy and struggle in equal doses. A humble man reveals his heart to his beloved Nancy, provoking a reader to notice a butterfly finding a flower in a crack of the pavement. Vivid details adorn these verses. Flowers mesmerize the poet, inviting readers to encounter a generous flow of imagination and whimsy. Each poem hints at a mystery revealed at the end. Eleven poems may not be epic in length, and eleven days are short in a long lifetime. However, these poems can be read over and over again to reveal a new angle or sentiment. Mundo's collection also honors the bardic tradition by comparing a lover to flowers.

The first poem creates dramatic tension. In it, the poet hopes to stun his beloved, and if he fails, at least he will have a flower to present to her. By the eleventh poem, the journey has twisted through uncharted syntax. The technical aspects of the poetry include rhymes that sometimes only hint at this feature. The resulting effect is playful and surprising.

The illustrations by Keith Draws help make Mundo's collection unique. Charming mandalas, suns and moons with kind faces, and fairies frame beautiful women. Elves, sprites, clouds, lovers, and rabbits inspire inner vision. The images stir meditation. The drama and expression will likely make readers remember their own childlike wonder. The artwork, along with the poetry, lures the mind into a world of fantasy that plays word games. So many unexpected creatures seem drawn just to beguile. This inspired collaboration strikes the reader’s heart.

A 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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