As Glaciers Move: Selected Poems and Prose Presenting a Progression of Perceptions

As Glaciers Move: Selected Poems and Prose Presenting a Progression of Perceptions

by Joseph Whitson


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As Glaciers Move, through poetry and prose, explores how a person's life experiences and observations may affect his or her perceptions of the world. This exploration (with one of the first poems written by the author) begins in 1975 and proceeds through five decades, including topics such as birth, childhood, personal growth, war, nature, depression, religion, marriage, anger and pain. How the author perceives the world at each stage in his life is not only expressed in the poems and prose but also by the subtle or not so subtle change in topics (experiences and observations).
The author presents this book in its entirety as a metaphor: as glaciers shape majestic mountain peaks and wondrous valleys, forces—influential persons, significant junctures and life-altering events—that we encounter in our lives shape the way we act and think, affecting the way we “see” people, events and society.
As Glaciers Move could be the author’s memoir, although unorthodox and metaphorical: the poems and prose are in chronological order from 1975 to 2017, and the book’s premise is the “progression of perceptions.” However, since most of the poems have several layers of meaning (that is, more than one interpretation), they may speak to the reader of his or her own life experiences. This book is laid out in three parts and does not necessarily show that the author matures (or becomes wiser) as he goes through life; instead, it presents how his perceptions of the world change as experiences and observations accumulate. In "Part One," the poems and prose are from the mid-70s to the late-80s as the author goes from being a teenager (just then noticing his surroundings and political and societal events) to a being a young adult (struggling or dealing with “adult” responsibilities). In “Part Two,” the author’s focus shifts to introspection, reminiscence and metaphysics. With “Part Three,” the topics shift again (to pain, anger and especially acceptance, for example) as he enters the fifth decade of his life facing one illness after another with courage and a determination to ignore or overcome them and just enjoy life!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781543909975
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 09/14/2017
Pages: 124
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Joseph Whitson has been a carpenter, machinist, stay-at-home dad, college instructor, research scientist and business owner. He began writing poetry long before his first career and has continued beyond his last one, a period, so far, of 42 years, capturing experiences and observations along the way in his poems, a collection as diverse as his life. A few of Joseph’s earliest poems, for example, reflect the ravages of war from his perspective, “the comforts of my parent’s home in Germany,” as he read about the Cambodian genocide and Khmer Rouge in the Stars and Stripes in 1975. Many of his latest poems contemplate the meaning of life and the imminence of death. Other poems explore depression, religion, nature, and marriage. In addition to expanding his career options, Joseph’s educational pursuits enriched him in ways that gave him many different opportunities and unique perspectives that come to life in his poems. He earned an Associate of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences (with concentrations in Microbiology and Molecular Biology) and a Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology. Joseph’s hobbies are also prevalent throughout his poetry. For example, when he was younger, his outdoor activities included alpine climbing, backpacking, and whitewater kayaking, and he used those explorations of the physical world metaphorically to explore topics entirely unrelated to the physical world in many of his poems. His hobbies now are less dangerous, such as gardening and amateur astronomy. However, even in his most recent poems, there is a sense of adventure. Joseph lives with his wife of 38 years and their two cats in California. He is a loving husband, father, and grandfather.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Arête 3

Kilmer Rouge, 1975 5

Priority of the Poet 6

These Writings 6

Seeking My Voice 7

Refugees 8

Stranger 9

These Children 10

The Room 11

Graduation Day, 1971 12

College Cafeteria, Early One Morning 14

Evol 15

Friend or Foe 16

Supercilious 17

Preface 18

Greatness 18

The Marginalized 19

The Unfamiliar 20

At the Hearth 21

The Ancient's Message 22

Beasts 25

San Pablo Avenue 26

An Old Man 27

Another Old Man 27

Lovely Friend, Forever 28

To the Light 30

Songs of Giants 31

I Lead 32

Orion 34

Perceptions of a 30-Year-Old, Abridged 36

Part 2 Horn 39

Birth 41

Children at Play 43

Sing the Song 44

Dreams 45

Discernment 46

The Song of Life, a Parody 47

The Movie House 48

Different 49

A backpacker's tale 50

Nursery Rhyme 55

One Moment 56

Rings on the Table 57

Proclamation 59

Pruned Trees 60

Algebra 60

Stone and Ice 61

The Alley 63

The Faith 64

The Fallen 65

The Block Party (The Subtlety of Being) 66

Sometimes 68

Psalm of a Tree 69

Three Trees 70

Cliff Creek Canyon 71

Part 3 Cirque 73

Awaiting the Arrival of the Light 75

Family pictures 78

An Account of the Gun with a stranger 79

Driving Alone 80

Gun Pointed at me 81

In Fidelity 82

The Wizard 83

Reminiscing 84

At the Dinner Table, 1970 85

My Perceptions This Day 86

Extrinsic 87

Life Lines 88

Expressions 88

Seeing 89

Memory of a Poem 90

Belief in Humanity 92

My Dance 92

Aquarium 93

Anger 94

Pain and Its Siblings 95

Fatalism? 96

Acceptance 97

Gray Sky 98

My Honest Self 100

The Crazy Lady Next Door 101

The Stranger and I 103

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