“If UNDER THE OAK were a painting, it would be a soft Monet, and each of its 138 poems, a brushstroke—soft and swift, but thick with meaning. Ultimately, they complement one another, running together to create the hazy impression of a life, with all its ups and downs.
The themes in UNDER THE OAK are familiar ones, including the overwhelming nature of love and doubt, the regret that comes from letting potential romance slip away, nostalgia for the way things used to be, and hope for what they might still become. The title poem succinctly sums up the book’s general gist: “a centenarian oak… / it began its lonely watch / long before my birth / and it will stand / long after I am gone / a living contradiction; / a gentle, stark reminder / of the limits of mortality / a tribute to life’s / surprisingly longevity.” In these poems, Hynes explores the both mortality and longevity in easy-to-read bursts that are meaningful without becoming obscure…”
Although his poetry has been published in several anthologies with other poet’s work, it has never been collected in a book of his own. This is the first. Under the Oak collects poems previously shared, and some that will be new to readers. We have tried to include a broad sample, hoping to find something for everyone to enjoy and re-read in the future.
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