Seeds of Tolerance

Seeds of Tolerance

by Roy Johnston


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781430303312
Publication date: 12/08/2006
Pages: 84
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.20(d)

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Seeds of Tolerance 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Roy K. Johnston delivers ideas and images of what is happening within our world and the possibilities of a world without war. His verse sends hope that poets don't just complain, they give us a sense of what could be. Johnston is someone to read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Stanzas of Social Significance February 13th, 2007 RK Johnston¿s ¿Seeds of Tolerance¿ a plea for peace Sing me a song with social significance, All other tunes are taboo. I want a ditty with heat in it, appealing with feeling and meat in it. -From the 1937 hit musical revue, ¿Pins and Needles,¿ performed by rank and file members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Southern Californian poet, RK Johnston¿s second collection ¿Seeds of Tolerance¿ delivers steady, soft, spoken meditations on the human condition in a time of war. Readers used to these themes delivered in a declamatory style of a poetry slam will just have to listen up: the message is powerful in a whisper as well as a scream. Johnston¿s poems walk the well-traveled terrain of a lone individual summoning a moral righteousness against a corrupt and decaying system. For a less engaging poet, this ¿voice in the wilderness¿ approach would probably sit on the border between self-righteousness and rhetoric. Yet through careful, sincere language Johnston takes residence at the corner of personal and political making this a fine read. A recurring theme here is disappointment-that of the ideals of a ¿democratic republic¿ contrasted against the dirty deeds done dirt cheap in service to empire. Half way through the book lies one of the most powerful poems of the collection, Once Again: Tossed in an ill wind by Jeffersonian masked tyrants, citizens are confused by preempted acts reaching for the New Order, moistened by the blood of non-represented children. Repeatedly, Johnston invokes the power and necessity of poetry to make sense of it all, as in the next stanza The howl of Ginsberg is required now to help trample the brown lashers and sagebrush rebels, and the WTO¿s fraudulent legends of immoral ethics and closed circuit TVs. Occasionally, the metaphors get a little obscure and can confuse the meaning, rather than clarify. What exactly is a ¿brown lasher¿? Taken in context of the entire book, one would think that Johnston would see no need to trample the rebels, whether they hide in sagebrushes or not. But moments of ambiguity do not ruin and otherwise excellent text. The strength of this collection lies in the range of concerns it addresses. Poems such as the touching story of the creative process in ¿In My Case a Clarinet¿ as arts are one of the only areas of post-modern life that can be a refuge from the soul-crushing effects of life under empire. Good descriptions of nature and emotion punctuate the entire book. Yet for all the looking outward, by far the finest poem is ¿My Talk With Dad¿ about searching for connection with his blue-collar, very conservative father. Johnston seamlessly makes a very political observation pulled from one of the most intimate parts of life, the relationship with one¿s parents. Freedom and self-determination he roared but later I wondered whose freedom and self-determination. And yet, with courage his sons and daughters would take the challenge, blindly sometimes. Johnston¿s poetry does exactly what poetry should¿sense life and the solutions to the problems of our age using full-barreled humanity. These stanzas do indeed carry much social significance. Posted by jamesrtracy Filed in Anti-war, Pop Culture, Poetry
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful second book of poems for poet Roy. K. Johnston. We see a mature voice and a capable hand weaving his insights into nature, war, and tolerance.