Collected Poems, 1937 -- 2007, is an unusual mixture of serious and light verse written over his adult life by Jack Beatty. The poems are relatively short, most are less than one page. the subject matter ranges from description of a magnificent sunset on the Oregon Coast, to World War II, to the war in Iraq and our own challenge to the Rule of Law.
A sketch of a few of the poems indicates the field they cover. The poem Air Raid reminds us of the Nazi attack on Poland that ignited W W II. Earl Baldwin of Bewdly marks Britain's failure to appreciate that peril.
View from the window above recreates a Sunday morning at Princeton. If time exists contemplates time as a two way street. A misanthropic toast raises a glass to old Ebinezer Scrooge. Six sonnets bring vignettes of the Normandy invasion, four sonnets are vignettes of the battles in Alsace. Provence paints the sobering start of reconstruction, and Apre la guerre the harsh first winter after the war. Acropolis, the longest of the poems, is a dream sequence set in postwar Greece relating back to ancient Greece and Normandy.
1066 or dates are important and Greek roots are delightful learning poems for middle schoolers. Advice for Dr. Selling and The vermiform appendix of Dr. Henry Dixon needle two eminent physicians, and Chief Judge Herbert M. Schwab does the same for that Court of Appeals judge on his sixtieth birthday. Re House Bill 2648 is a poem submitted to the Oregon State Senate opposing enactment of that measure, surely a unique method of lobbying.. Song of the Elderhostlers deals with pointy snails.
Two sonnets and two thirteen line poems are moving memorials. The vivid portrait of Frederick Augustus Burnaby of the Horse Guards is described in a colorful descriptive eight stanza poem.. The bargain by Octavian and Antony to settle their differences by the murder of their respective commanding generals is considered in a poem by the generals as the height of ingratitude. Of temples and the gods compares the Temple of Zeus with the Lincoln Memorial. A rat is a rat is a rat is a play on Gertrude Stein's poem. James the Just teases a federal judge. Reading Ulysses is a left handed compliment to James Joyce. A view from the Getty, considers the smog that obscures the view from that pinnacle of museum wealth. Christmas in the reign of error reflects on climate change. Three sonnets of Nurnberg deal with devastation, torture and the Rule of Law. The variety of subject matter adds to the enjoyment of these well written poems.