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A new collection of inspirational poems, Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus, is the second book of poetry written by Robert Hobkirk, following his first successful poetry book, Haiku Avenue. His simple free form style sincerely conveys his meaning, yet leaves enough room between the lines for the reader to fit in his own interpretation. Sit for a while in the A new collection of inspirational poems, Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus, is the second book of poetry written by Robert Hobkirk, following his first successful poetry book, Haiku Avenue. His simple free form style sincerely conveys his meaning, yet leaves enough room between the lines for the reader to fit in his own interpretation. Sit for a while in the shade of the eucalyptus and wonder at the ordinary in plain sight and the mysterious, slightly hidden.


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A new collection of inspirational poems, Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus, is the second book of poetry written by Robert Hobkirk, following his first successful poetry book, Haiku Avenue. His simple free form style sincerely conveys his meaning, yet leaves enough room between the lines for the reader to fit in his own interpretation. Sit for a while in the A new collection of inspirational poems, Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus, is the second book of poetry written by Robert Hobkirk, following his first successful poetry book, Haiku Avenue. His simple free form style sincerely conveys his meaning, yet leaves enough room between the lines for the reader to fit in his own interpretation. Sit for a while in the shade of the eucalyptus and wonder at the ordinary in plain sight and the mysterious, slightly hidden.

34 review for Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus was an exceptionally written second book of poetry by California short story author Robert Hobkirk. There was much to love about this collection: the highlights of youth during the 1950's-1960's, family life, the themes of seasons and nature. The encouraging upbeat style that adds tremendously to the overall appeal of the poetry. Raised in Detroit, in the care of his loving grandparents that emigrated from Poland in 1900. Family poetry: "Memories" Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus was an exceptionally written second book of poetry by California short story author Robert Hobkirk. There was much to love about this collection: the highlights of youth during the 1950's-1960's, family life, the themes of seasons and nature. The encouraging upbeat style that adds tremendously to the overall appeal of the poetry. Raised in Detroit, in the care of his loving grandparents that emigrated from Poland in 1900. Family poetry: "Memories" - "Wild Cherry Tree" -"Wishbone" - "The Piano" -- Hobkirk's recall of fun times playing in the city dump not far from his childhood home. (Today, we have landfills in far away locations). A sister wanting to play an old piano-- that met an unusual demise. Hobkirk's grandma Wysocki was a great cook, eventually widowed, and prayed diligently for all her son's sobriety. The deep meaning of connection to the earth and elements of seasons and nature: "Snow" - "Earthy Perfume" - "Avalanche" - "New Cologne". Family pets, cats and dogs were acknowledged, some more fondly than others. Insects remain rather interesting in: "Ladybugs" also flies and spider webs were observed, along with the lost dreams of a beekeeper in "Beehive". More elements of habitat follow in "Seagulls" and "Sacred Geese". It was particularly noticeable that themes of poetry featuring the darker side of emotion and humanity were scarcely mentioned. In Hobkirk's poetry, the angst, sadness, and depressive themes that are commonly found and make a troubled way to the poets pages are absent. There might be a slightly negative implication in "Choke Hold," or a whisper of family alcoholism but they are not highlighted or openly discussed. Nearly all the poems tell a story, it is simplistic without hidden meanings, and easy to understand. "Back to the Sea" is a metaphor related to writing. "Divide by Three" is about Haiku poetry as is "Paint and Brush". "Sweet California Day" brings readers into the present tense with Hobkirk's uplifting, carefree, and inspirational style. With thanks to the author for the e-book value which made this review possible.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus was an exceptionally written second book of poetry by California short story author Robert Hobkirk. There was much to love about this collection: the highlights of youth during the 1950's-1960's, family life, the themes of seasons and nature. The encouraging upbeat style that adds tremendously to the overall appeal of the poetry. Raised in Detroit, in the care of his loving grandparents that emigrated from Poland in 1900. Family poetry: "Memories" Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus was an exceptionally written second book of poetry by California short story author Robert Hobkirk. There was much to love about this collection: the highlights of youth during the 1950's-1960's, family life, the themes of seasons and nature. The encouraging upbeat style that adds tremendously to the overall appeal of the poetry. Raised in Detroit, in the care of his loving grandparents that emigrated from Poland in 1900. Family poetry: "Memories" - "Wild Cherry Tree" -"Wishbone" - "The Piano" -- Hobkirk's recall of fun times playing in the city dump not far from his childhood home. (Today, we have landfills in far away locations). A sister wanting to play an old piano-- that met an unusual demise. Hobkirk's grandma Wysocki was a great cook, eventually widowed, and prayed diligently for all her son's sobriety. The deep meaning of connection to the earth and elements of seasons and nature: "Snow" - "Earthy Perfume" - "Avalanche" - "New Cologne". Family pets, cats and dogs were acknowledged, some more fondly than others. Insects remain rather interesting in: "Ladybugs" also flies and spider webs were observed, along with the lost dreams of a beekeeper in "Beehive". More elements of habitat follow in "Seagulls" and "Sacred Geese". It was particularly noticeable that themes of poetry featuring the darker side of emotion and humanity were scarcely mentioned. In Hobkirk's poetry, the angst, sadness, and depressive themes that are commonly found and make a troubled way to the poets pages are absent. There might be a slightly negative implication in "Choke Hold," or a whisper of family alcoholism but they are not highlighted or openly discussed. Nearly all the poems tell a story, it is simplistic without hidden meanings, and easy to understand. "Back to the Sea" is a metaphor related to writing. "Divide by Three" is about Haiku poetry as is "Paint and Brush". "Sweet California Day" brings readers into the present tense with Hobkirk's uplifting, carefree, and inspirational style. With thanks to the author for the e-book value which made this review possible.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brianna | briannas_books

    I really enjoyed this collection! It's kind of a funny story cause the day I saw that I had received it in the mail is also the day my family's dog passed away. I started reading right away and it put me in such a good mood! It really captured the feelings of each season and what the author was experiencing when writing the poem. It did so in a way that you felt like you were there at the moment he was experiencing them, which is rare these days. I gave this book 4/5 stars cause it was amazing a I really enjoyed this collection! It's kind of a funny story cause the day I saw that I had received it in the mail is also the day my family's dog passed away. I started reading right away and it put me in such a good mood! It really captured the feelings of each season and what the author was experiencing when writing the poem. It did so in a way that you felt like you were there at the moment he was experiencing them, which is rare these days. I gave this book 4/5 stars cause it was amazing at making me want to sit outside and find beauty in everything. Some of my favorite poems from this book were: Taping up comics, Mary, City Beach, Avalanche, Divide by 3, and Roast Chicken. Also I loved the explanation of the eucalyptus tree in the beginning!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janhendrik Dolsma

    The title of Hobkirk’s second book (Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus) is perfectly chosen. A lot of his poems talk about everyday situations. From Hobkirks perspective they are full of poetry. Without being to obvious he connects small events with the bigger world, like in his Avalanche poem, where a bird watches, while an avalanche is roaring down the mountain. Hobkirk is a great storyteller, even in his poems. One of the most touching examples is a poem called ‘Memories’, in whi The title of Hobkirk’s second book (Somewhere Poetry Grows Wild Under the Eucalyptus) is perfectly chosen. A lot of his poems talk about everyday situations. From Hobkirks perspective they are full of poetry. Without being to obvious he connects small events with the bigger world, like in his Avalanche poem, where a bird watches, while an avalanche is roaring down the mountain. Hobkirk is a great storyteller, even in his poems. One of the most touching examples is a poem called ‘Memories’, in which he talks about his Grandma, the soup she made and how she played cards ("Grandma never let me win / I had to earn it"). Great book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin O'Neill

    The poems in this collection reveal an artist’s attention to the visual, especially color, as Hobkirk shares memories of his surroundings, his childhood, and of his mother, father, and Polish grandmother. There are elements of literary naturalism in unflinching portrayals of death, as in the poem “Sparrow,” and of the cycles of nature and of life, as in one of the finest poems in the collection, “Scarecrow in Winter Field.” At his best, Hobkirk’s lines are in par with practically anyone else’s, The poems in this collection reveal an artist’s attention to the visual, especially color, as Hobkirk shares memories of his surroundings, his childhood, and of his mother, father, and Polish grandmother. There are elements of literary naturalism in unflinching portrayals of death, as in the poem “Sparrow,” and of the cycles of nature and of life, as in one of the finest poems in the collection, “Scarecrow in Winter Field.” At his best, Hobkirk’s lines are in par with practically anyone else’s, making use of ordinary words and images to create lines with just the right economy of sound and syllable to bring the reader into the world of the poem, as in these simple but evocative lines from “Memories” (p.93): I was back in Michigan On a cold gray day Bundled up in wool Wearing leggings and black galoshes Coming home from school “Grandma, I’m home” Read aloud, these lines contain no excess, nothing other than the bits of narrative spun to successfully convey scenes from childhood, simple, predictable pleasures all too often taken for granted until, as Wordworth said it best, “emotion recollected in tranquility” prompts the poet to infuse such memory with feeling to be appreciated by an attentive reader. On occasion, Hobkirk’s poems may remind readers of Carl Sandburg, a poet who without pretense captured the humble everyday sights, sounds and smells of his place, or even of William Carlos Williams, as in “Wild Almond Tree,” a poem which refuses to “mean” anything, instead offering readers a poem that fits Archibald MacLeish’s definition from “Ars Poetica: “A poem should not mean/But be.” Hobkirk is a talent placed loosely in American tradition; his poems show a remarkable craftsmanship firmly grounded in the American free verse canon. However, he may pay a price among contemporary critics for ignoring some commonly accepted caveats currently preached in MFA programs. For example, if one peruses the pages of the typical elite literary magazine, one might find that most poets (admittedly not all) conform to the standard rules of punctuation, as these conventions often help rather than hinder reader understanding. While it is true that most of this punctuation is not much missed in Hobkirk’s poems, it seems also true that the poet might reconsider the use of commas, periods, and other standard conventions of punctuation as potentially useful in sculpting his lines and stanzas. When it comes to line breaks, American poets must devise an “inscape” for a poem that doesn’t wrangle itself into a standard form, and one must carefully study the choices of other writers, the rhythms of our language, and the energy and tempo of a particular poem to determine where line breaks should go. If poems are to be read aloud successfully without the poet present, and if the poet means to give readers sufficient cues as to how to read a poem, it is helpful to think of punctuation marks as cues for varying degrees of silence and the control of pace in a poem. Without them, Hobkirk has nothing but stanza and line breaks to suggest a place for a pause. At points, he uses a single conjunction or preposition to fill an entire line, and since all the poems in the collection are double-spaced, this seems to apportion an inordinate amount of time and sound/silence combination for a single connecting word. For the most part, the lines themselves are quite carefully crafted, and so those that seem less careful are all the more apparent. In addition, Hobkirk has chosen to center his poems on the page instead of left justifying, which again seems to ignore a fairly standard convention. True, contemporary poets will often stagger lines on a page for perfectly good reasons, but to simply center the poem seems unjustifiable (pardon the pun?) if a writer means to show his or her knowledge of how fuzzily-understood free verse conventions are most commonly practiced in the U.S. today. Clearly, Hobkirk is a gifted poet, one who should be read. The poems in this collection establish that fact. His work should be read not only for pure appreciation, but also close analysis of his poems could be used to introduce questions about the use of punctuation and the crafting of lines and stanzas and what these things signify to a wider readership. Should it be “Grandma was in the kitchen/cooking/”, or “Grandma was in the kitchen cooking,” or “Grandma was in the kitchen, cooking”? For a poet as talented as Hobkirk, such subtleties and the messages conveyed by those choices can be quite meaningful to other poets. “Back in the Sea” is the poem most helpful in understanding the poet’s overall intentions. In holding back work that has the potential “to make something bleed,” Hobkirk shows an admirable wisdom and unwillingness to exploit his subjects for shock value or for vengeance. His poems project the maturity of a gentle voice that can be trusted. In the last lines of the last poem in the collection, he attributes his unwillingness to use words to harm others to his mother, who is the subject of the poem. A reader can’t help but hope the best for this poet and to look forward to more of his work. The written word holds a power misused by many in a society where we all defend one another’s right to say pretty much anything. Hobkirk doesn’t take that right or the power of his words for granted; consequently, anything he puts on a page is probably worth a reader’s time and attention.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  7. 5 out of 5

    A.D. Herrick

    A book of smiles I love the raw poetry Mr. How Kirk has written. It truly makes you want to stop rushing and look around at the beautiful world that surround you as well as the people in it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ricky Barnes

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Corey

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Schwarzer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cathyann

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Summey

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Sprague

  23. 4 out of 5

    Misa

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  28. 4 out of 5

    G L Meisner

  29. 4 out of 5

    Todd Rumsey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  31. 4 out of 5

    Suzann Brucato

  32. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  33. 5 out of 5

    Leland Lee

  34. 4 out of 5

    Louise Carlson Stowell

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