Dark Energy by Robert Morgan
Published by Penguin Books
Released May 26, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon
Let me preface this review by saying that I’m not very knowledgeable about the poetry world. I’ve read very little of it (unless you count Shel Silverstein) and sometimes the meanings are simply lost on me.
April is National Poetry Month, however, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to experiment a little bit. Since I can name perhaps four poets off the top of my head, I walked to my libraries poetry section and randomly picked a collection that had a pretty cover. Robert Morgan’s Dark Energy is what I walked away with.
As I read through this collection, the main thing that struck me was that it made me homesick for the near decade I spent living in Asheville, NC. I’ve mentioned plenty of times on this blog that I spent most of my twenties living there, and now that I’ve moved away to flatter land I find myself longing for the mountain trails and forests of western North Carolina.
As I read some of these poems, I was reminded of the many, many days I spent wandering trails deep in the woods, among the sounds and scents of the forest. We would go whole days without seeing another person or hearing the sound of a car. For those memories alone I found this collection enjoyable.
After finishing the collection, I glanced at Robert Morgan’s Goodreads’s page, which states that he “was raised on his family’s farm in the North Carolina mountains.” So the feelings it gave me make a lot of sense.
Three of the poems really stood out to me:
- “Ancient Talk,” which is about Thomas Wolfe and his appreciation for natural, mountainous areas
- “Maple Gall,” a poem that starts out describing tree fungus but ends with the beauty of irregularity in nature
- “Love Sleep,” focusing on the sounds and hush of nature at night
I really enjoyed reading through this collection, and many of the poems focusing on nature really resonated with me. That said, there were also many poems that I forgot as soon as I turned the page and that I couldn’t identify with at all. I suppose that’s true for most poetry collections. I can definitely see myself reading more of Robert Morgan’s poetry in the future.