Take This Journey With Me: Poems from the Laboratory of John Turner
Two Harbors Press (2012)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (2/13)
One hundred poems. One hundred beautifully crafted windows into the author’s soul. Each of them different. Each of them exquisite. This is what awaits the reader in “Take This Journey With Me: Poems from the Laboratory of John Turner” by John Turner.
I’ve always found poetry difficult to critique. It either grabs me, or it doesn’t. There are collections of poems that are only bound together by the book’s cover, and those are mostly the ones that I can glance at and let go. Or maybe sample a few words or stanzas here and there, but do not feel compelled to finish a poem, let alone read the entire book. And then there are those that grab you from the first image and keep your attention throughout, leaving you wanting for more. There’s no hard and fast rule why that happens. It just does. And this time it certainly did. From the moment I “found the bottle” floating on the water, I needed to know what came next. And so I kept reading. A hundred poems later I was still curious, and I guess I will remain so. For a careful reader will observe one curious thing about the punctuation in those poems – if they were supposed to end with a period, they never did. The last one was no exception to this rule.
In “Take This Journey With Me: Poems from the Laboratory of John Turner,” John Turner’s poems are of the kind that makes you think, makes you reflect, and most often makes you grateful that there are people out there who are capable of bringing beauty to a printed page.