Today I bring you a great book of poetry, Vignettes by Eric Keizer. This is his second collection of poetry and is themed around another important place for him—Des Moines, Iowa. This collection offers snapshots into love, life, and the world around Des Moines. Now, on to the review part.
Being from the Midwest and having been through Des Moines many times in my life, I feel like Keizer captured the spirit of the area well. As I read each of the poems, I could picture what he described—the mist you get in the mornings during early spring or late fall, the dusty heat not everyone realizes we get here in the Midwest, and the people he described. This collection offers a peek into the spirit of this place for any who haven’t taken the time to see it.
One of my favorite poems in the book is Corn Dance. I feel like Keizer’s knack for capturing details in vivid images really shined in this poem. Even though I grew up driving through miles and miles of corn fields on a regular basis, this poem captured a beauty to those fields I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Keizer grabs attention like this throughout this collection, taking the ordinary and showing it off in a way you wouldn’t think about ordinarily.
Finally, I also loved Keizer’s focus. This book was about showing his love for the world in and around Des Moines. Rather than taking a grandiloquent approach, he keeps it simple and straight forward. This focus on the plain everyday stuff allows the reader to see Keizer’s love for this area. I think it also encourages us to look at our own everyday worlds in the same focused way, encouraging us to see the beauty in the simplicity.
I don’t really have much to say about what I disliked about this book. I think really, the only thing I can say I disliked is that I wish there was more to the book. I enjoyed the book and wanted more.
I gladly give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. The details, the love of the subject, and Keizer’s ability to help us see something more in things we normally overlook make this book one you don’t want to miss.