Living Life’s Lessons: Poetic Instructions
by Thomas Antonacci

"Maybe dreams are just reality in
someone else’s time
and waking ends their story
As passing cancels mine..."

Exploring the everyday obstacles of life in conjunction with embracing the mysteries of the future, Antonacci's work presents a sort of roadmap that is both uplifting and actionable. His ability to work metaphors into his poetry is especially intriguing and makes his work easily relatable to all audiences. Throughout the course of the compilation, universal themes such as the discovery of one's purpose, emotional cleansing, embracing change, regret, and faith are highlighted in the context of positive thinking.

In one of the first poems of the collection, "The Long Journey," the metaphor of the road is utilized impeccably to demonstrate the difficulty of sticking to one's path and purpose. Often, the poems suggest, individuals are stuck saying "if only" and "what if." Pieces like "Slow the Pace" and "Closer to Heaven" demonstrate the ever-changing nature of human beings, like the changing of the seasons. Antonacci seemingly urges readers to slow down and embrace both nature and reflect on the essence of the human spirit.

At its core, Antonacci's work provides guidance on the myriad experiences that amount to life. Most importantly, however, his emphasis that life isn't linear, and that this is what makes it interesting, is paramount. Twists and turns, from the heavy baggage of the past in "Treasured" to the overcoming of demons in "Better and Times," are natural progressions of life. From the perspective of poetic language, the poet effectively employs imagery throughout, particularly of the moon in poems like "The Watchman," and uses repetition of "walk with me" as he emphasizes references to faith in God in "Trust." Informative and well flowing, this compilation is filled with timeless lessons that will undoubtedly hold universal meaning for its readers.

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