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Reviewed by Olivia Ard for Readers' Favorite
Bricolage by Richard Stimac contains a lovely collection of poems that range from wrestling with faith to musing about the landscape ahead. In Behold, the Lamb of God, the poet explores themes of death, childhood, and innocence alongside the physical destruction of the places he grew up in. Juxtaposed with the more vibrant language found in the following poem, Blooms, these two opening works set the tone for the remainder of the collection. The intersection of decay and rebirth and all the contradictions therein are always in the back of one's mind. Paired with the robust and descriptive imagery employed throughout the collection, but especially in Silent, Upon a Peak, and Still Life, these comparisons and contradictions sink in throughout the reading and stay long past the final page.
Bricolage is a delightful, quick read. A master of language, Richard Stimac's work evokes images and feelings of nostalgia, melancholy, and a bucolic sort of peace that transcends expectation. Reading even a scattered handful of these poems feels like taking a stroll through an autumnal wood, simultaneously contemplative and adventurous. As I usually do with poetry, I read most pages in Bricolage aloud. These words appreciate being spoken, and the rhythm and meter are well-structured without becoming rigid. The language is elevated but still accessible, and the poems are all reasonably short, so this would be a good selection for newer readers of poetry who may find themselves intimidated by the genre. My only complaint? I wish there were more pieces included in this collection.