I wish Edward G. Bottomley had been publishing poetry for years, but it takes a lot of life experience for a writer to produce Beckoning. It is an insightful collection of poems about various aspects of Life, its phases and transitions, sadness and joys. It’s sometimes witty, sometimes challenging, and as the title implies, beckons you to ponder the meaning of life and truly live it.
Born in northern England, Bottomley’s career path includes both accountancy and photography. His combination of orderly thinking and creativity is reflected in Beckoning, where I found beautiful black-and-white photographs sprinkled here and there between the imaginative, carefully crafted poems. I liked the author’s occasional toying with grammar to create a clever flow of words. And I particularly enjoyed the distinctively British brevity in his expression; here is an expample from the last stanza of the poem From Whence Willpower? (The italicized lines denote one half of a conversation):
Maybe we both need a sense of direction
Could be; it may offer a form of protection
Like the fence against which we now lean
Just look at that drop – it’s horribly mean!
Another glimpse into the way the author thinks is In the delightfully visual poem The Nature of Attention, where Bottomley toys with word spacing and font size to grab your attention. Yet nothing is extravagant or overdone.
Beckoning is arranged into nineteen chapters of related content, with subjects such as Family, Arts, Humor, Values and Death. Each of the nearly two hundred poems can stand alone, with something of interest for everyone. The collection is largely nonfiction with three personal poems included: Shaping the Author, At Peace with One’s Own Death and Taking a Ride. I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. I recommend that you add Beckoning to your bookshelf or Kindle.
You can find Edward G. Bottomley’s Beckoning on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle. ISBN-10: 0578173670 and ISBN-13: 978-0578173672. http://www.amazon.com/Beckoning-Poetry-Edward-Gordon-Bottomley/dp/0578173670/ref=la_B01902TU0Y_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452709269&sr=1-1