Love makes the world go round, or so the old saying goes, and poetry is one way to express that elusive and powerful emotion. All aspects of love are explored in the poems featured in a new book of poetry written by M.D. Brauer, M.D., whether it’s romantic love or the love one has for a special friend, relative or nature.
The writer has sorted the poems in “Poet in Love and Other Tragedies” into 16 sections, each featuring a brightly colored title such as tangerine, cobalt, celadon, teal and indigo. Brauer sprinkles some of his poems with pop culture references and others with colorful imagery, drawing on his imagination to weave powerful meditations on feelings and emotions that show the power of love. Readers will find free verse, meter and rhyme that cover topics like taking a daughter to college, an ode to “The Good Earth,” a girl walking barefoot, and falling in love with a best friend’s little sister.
“The African Woman” shares the love one human can feel for another, despite the risks of AIDS, when a visiting worker lovingly paints the patient’s nails. “Fractured Earth” reveals the despair that can come when a loved one – this time the planet – falls ill: “And all the arctic ice is melting, and the polar bears lounge in mud where glaciers once inexorably rolled and cracked and broke granite like chestnuts over an ozone fire.” The selection “The School Teacher” highlights one of the most enduring loves when a lonely man hears a phone ring. “For a moment he wondered, indulged again, even if it was just a two-second daydream, then picked up the phone. ‘Hi, Mom.’ ”
Brauer was born in Takoma Park, Md., but spent the first nine years of his life in Cairo, Egypt and Beirut, returning to the United States in 1966. He served in the Navy on the USS John F. Kennedy in the Mediterranean and earned an elementary education degree from Union College in Lincoln, Neb. After teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Colorado, he decided to become a doctor, earning his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. He subsequently practiced for 16 years in the Shenandoah Valley before moving to the Asheville area in 2008. He has previously been published with a historical novel, “Shall Die by the Sword,” under the penname T.S. Beckett.