Gracious Nature

Poems on Earth and Life

Poetry - General
182 Pages
Reviewed on 03/22/2024
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Author Biography

Recognized for crafting clear, creative, and compelling poems, Robert J. Tiess has been writing poetry since the 1980s, and he’s been promoting poetry and literature since the 1990s. Robert is a SUNY New Paltz graduate, where he earned his degree in English Literature. He resides in New York State, where he has also enjoyed a fulfilling career in public library service.

Robert's other books include The Humbling and Other Poems and May We Learn from the Earth.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

For environmentally-conscious readers who love poetry, there is nothing quite like Robert J. Tiess's collection. Gracious Nature is yet another enthralling collection of nature poems by the author that allows you to appreciate and embrace nature through the poetic medium. The titular poem "Gracious Nature" celebrates nature's benevolent and merciful spirit that continues to reward us with plentiful bounty and beauty despite humanity's many transgressions against it. Beneath the primal sounds of a wolf's howls lie profound harmonies and emotions, beautifully conveyed through the poem "The Music of the Wolves." "Natural Geometrics" highlights the symmetrical disposition of all things related to nature. In "Elsewhere in the Universe," the narrator marvels at the grand scope of the cosmos and the seemingly eternal nature of cosmic entities.

Robert J. Tiess has a way of incorporating poignant earthly and environmental themes into his poetry, and this collection is no different. Gracious Nature is an illuminating collection that is a tribute to nature and brings to light its maternal relationship with humanity and all other living beings. The author uses both rhyming and free-verse poetry to profess his love and care for the environment and wildlife. Some of these poems focus on the attributes of specific wild animals and showcase their unique roles in the grand tapestry of life. Toward the end, Tiess presents an insightful essay on nature poems that explains why they are important and shows how they can be as heartfelt, intimate, and moving as confessional poetry. After reading three of his books, I can honestly say I've become a fan of Robert J. Tiess's poetic storytelling and will heartily recommend this collection to all poetry readers.

Juan Lynch

Gracious Nature: Poems on Earth and Life by Robert J. Tiess is a thought-provoking collection of over one hundred poems. Tiess' appreciation for the beauty found in nature is evident. His use of vivid imagery transports the reader into the various charming scenes that he describes. Poems like Recipe for Mass Extinction Number Six discuss the importance of taking care of the environment. On the other hand, poems like Nature Retreat remind us how nature takes care of us. There are numerous poems highlighting lessons that we can all learn from the sky, mountains, animals, plants, and other elements of nature. An essay on the value of nature poems is included in the afterword.

I enjoyed reading Gracious Nature by Robert J. Tiess. As a poet myself, I quickly recognized the time and effort Tiess put into his choice of words. Most of the poems didn't rhyme, yet they all had a very appealing flow to them. I especially liked how even the formatting of several entries added to the appeal and messaging of the poems. For example, the formatting for Consulting the Oak highlighted how a mighty oak begins with the falling of a tiny acorn. Aside from the theme of celebrating, protecting, and embracing nature, Tiess also broaches the theme of spirituality, although I did not agree with everything. For the most part, I appreciated all the life lessons that Tiess voices through his work. I recommend Gracious Nature: Poems on Earth and Life to all poetry lovers.