Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 10:42 AM
Subject: Octopus Garden Review
Any Rhyme At All by Terri Whitney. Rockin Rhymer, U.S.
Poetry is more than writing. It is an art form that is responsible for projecting the feelings or ideas of the writer and causing an effect on the reader on some level. Whether the poem is about a person or an event, it must have the ability to touch you and make you feel something inside. Good poetry does that.
The title of this book is a great play on the title of the Beatles song “Any Time At All,” and grabs you as soon as you pick up the book. The subtitle, “A Fan’s Journey,” gives you a hint of what’s inside – a story about the Beatles… and yet not about the Beatles.
The book is separated into four chapters, each highlighting a part of the history of the Beatles and, by extension, the fan’s history. The Beatles are the backdrop to each poem but each poem projects more than the Beatles. Whether it is the Beatles themselves and those connected to them or the legacy that they have given us, the reader will feel an emotional element within each poem.
The style of Whitney’s poetry appears to be narrative within free style structure. She uses both 4 line and 6 line form in talking about a subject, event, or person. Her work is well structured and clearly conveys a feeling or attribute about the topic of the poem. Each poem is sprinkled with personal feelings or general feelings about the topic that effectively depict the impact that resulted from the existence of “a world with the Beatles.” They made a difference in people’s lives whether individually or collectively and that message comes through in her writing.
Each poem is accompanied by classic style charcoal artwork done by Amy Heintzelman. The drawings add character to each story that Whitney is telling. They are rendered in the perfect style for the book as it brings a visual understanding to the feelings conveyed within the poem.
What do you do when two of your loves are writing poetry and the Beatles? You incorporate the two and publish what you have put into words. The trick is to avoid the appearance of “hero worship” and Whitney accomplishes this with ease. The reader will walk away feeling that this book is more about Whitney’s journey in life, one that will mirror most people’s, and reveals how she was affected by the Beatles rather than about the Beatles themselves. This is what the author most likely intended and she has succeeded in her goal.
It is warm, and it is from the heart and a good read. You learn more about Whitney and the person that she is within her words and that is what I walked away with after reading Any Rhyme At All. To me the Beatles were secondary in her poetry. I got a glimpse into the person and I recognized the emotions. That was the real pleasure of her poetry.