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Each painted a picture for me Apr 11, 2007
By Reader Views
"Reviews, by readers, for readers"
Reviewed by Nicole LeBoeuf (age 16) for Reader Views (3/07)
Larry Rochelle has entitled his newest book of poetry "Moody Blue." The poems it contains are insightful reflections on his personal memories of Elvis and the embodiment of the scenes he's dreamt from them.
Rochelle, a Professor of English at Johnson County Community College, grew up in Toledo. He has lived in the Kansas area for most of his full life and the essence of the region follows his pen into the poetry he creates. The Kansas City street atmosphere is incorporated into many of his mysteries and Kansas is often a topic, as in "Moody Blue." He has won several awards for his mysteries and poetry and "Ten Mile Creek," a mystery set in his hometown, is his newest publication.
"Moody Blue" was like no book of poetry I have ever read. The explanation of its contents perplexed me, as it stated that the poetry inside told a tale of Elvis in Kansas and his interactions with the plain rural people he found there. To confuse me further, the Wizard of Oz was thrown into the concoction, creating a brew I couldn't even begin to imagine. I began reading with the mind of a skeptic, not knowing what I would find and frightened that I would not understand what I did.
I decided to ignore the description of the contents of the book and looked at each poem individually, keeping in mind only that they may be about Elvis. It was with this mindset that the poems were able to unfold for me. The poems were beautiful, each with a deeper and more significant meaning that the literal words portray. Each painted a picture for me, a snapshot and quick glimpse of someone's life sometimes placed on film. The sounds are clear to your ears. Emotions come up with each poem, running wild and then racing in your brain once the poem has ended. And then there's always the next page; a fresh start; new emotions.
I'll admit that not every poem played out clearly for me in "Moody Blue." At times the meaning was lost, maybe understood only to the author, as poems with deeper meaning of the personal sort often are. Overall, once over the startling description on the back cover, I grew accustomed to the style of writing and grew to make the most of each poem, draining of it of meaning and yearning to hear its story.
Received book free of charge.