Westheimer takes you with him to Brazil; across the South Atlantic to the Gold Coast of Africa; to Khartoum, across the Sahara to Palestine; to Haifa, Cairo, Tobruk, Benghazi and Tripoli; to Beirut and Damascus; and to prison camps in Italy and Germany. And in the prison camps you will meet Padre Brach, the Catholic chaplain who refused repatriation, and Feldwebel Gemnitz, the chief German guard at Stalag Luft III, who after the war was brought, all expenses paid, to a reunion of his former charges.
In his poem, "Settings," Seamus Heaney, asks, "Where does the spirit live? Inside or outside/ Things remembered, made things, things unmade?" In the Western tradition of lyric poetry, Philip Heldrich's Good Friday examines the essence of self forged in the spirit of place. His poems, like those of William Stafford, James Wright, and Robert Bly, ask difficult questions about the nature of our souls, about our wavering faiths, and our desire for deeper revelations. Rooted in the landscape of the Great Plains, these are poems of searching. Filled with tenderness and compassion, humor and irony, Good Friday takes its readers on much more than a journey of words into a world of prairie fire, barbed wire, migrating birds, tall grass, and wind.
The poetry of Simple Gestures shifts the landscape beneath the reader's feet. The planet is the poet's terrain. Kuntz introduces the redolent smell of a Saigon market, then guides us to a Japanese hot bath. The lined hands of an old woman in Brooklyn give way to a class mouthing familiar vowels in a Philippine refugee camp. From the exotic to the everyday, survival- physical and emotional- is the filament that binds disparate worlds to each other. Personal and cultural ties are slashed and refastened, giving readers poetry of the heart and spirit.
Into That Good Night is a son's gift. Seemingly powerless to do anything but witness the slow loss of his father's past, Ron Rozelle re-creates and reclaims his own past: the dusty streets, tired old houses, and wallpapered rooms of his childhood. Rozelle tells of his early, confused discovery of racial inequality, his induction into the military, his decision to become a teacher himself, and the deaths of his parents. Poignant and impressionistic, Into That Good Night is a heartbreakingly lyrical memoir whose fine cadences and shining images will echo for a long time to come.