The Poetry of Daniel Thomas Moran

Assorted reflections: A poet makes the common uncommon

Poetry can be intimidating, and, sure enough, by the time I got through the first sentence of the foreword of "A Shed for Wood," I was intimidated. Already there was a word — empyrean — that I had to look up. I prepared myself for another inaccessible (to me) poetry collection.

What I found was just the opposite. Daniel Thomas Moran's poetry is about the stuff of daily life — thermometers, olive pits, flea markets, fireflies and walking sticks to name just some — and so, entirely relatable.   

But the everydayness is only the starting point, an entryway into a world that it takes a poet to see.

Evidence the spare and lovely verse in "The Book of Prophecy," a poem about datebooks (yes, those things we organize our lives with): "There is a blue ribbon/I could use to separate/the what has been, from/the what's yet to be."

But, as the foreword writer said, Moran's "poetic arms reach effortlessly from the quotidian to the empyrean" (meaning, I found, the highest reaches of heaven), and so they do. He elegantly (and somehow reassuringly) writes of the deep themes of love, loss, aging, death and belief (or not) in God.

Moran is like a miner who takes a patch of ordinary ground and unearths dozens of diamonds. Read the book, and enjoy the brilliance.



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