In these verses, comprised of several years worth of selected material from various stages of his life, author Frank R. Chappell explores the follies of melancholic youthfulness, exuberant love, energetic faith, complete nihilism, profane tirades, and sacred contemplation. This collection presents a narrative of the individual's navigation through reality as a fretful sojourn of introspection that yields beautiful fruit. It celebrates the unseen victory in everyday failures, the human imperative to create meaning in all things, and the ability to stumble upon the permeating feeling of interconnectedness in our struggle for purpose.
Taking an anthropological approach, this collection of poetry offers a raw and unusual consideration of humanity's paradoxes and contradictions.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Many words describe “Wild Soil” – relatable, sparse, and exploratory. As I read the poems, I found myself seeing my own experience in the words. Chappell talks of breathing in cold Pennsylvania air in winter, an experience which makes me feel both nostalgic and hopeful. He talks of age as something we can gain in just one short year, another experience many of us have had when a defining event seems to age us almost instantly. I found myself anxiously consuming the poems, flipping to random pages to see what surprising thought I would find next. “Wild Soil” is a wonderful book in that way. When I share the book with a friend, I will tell them that it is about growing up; about the quiet, meditative moments that seem to mean so little but consume our lives; about the big moments, like loving someone or looking for some sense of the divine in ritual and religion; and about the contradictory moments in life, like how we can at once love and despise an experience, a person, or ourselves, how we can feel so comforted and connected when we are absolutely alone, and how our constant search for meaning and solidarity can leave us simultaneously exhausted and energized. In that way, “Wild Soil” is a beautiful book. I also love that the poems are sparse, with a focus on clear, meaningful language. All readers, no matter their previous experience with reading poetry, will be able to enjoy this book.