The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry

Poetry - Inspirational
57 Pages
Reviewed on 03/19/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry by Theodore M. Wandzilak is a compilation of the author's original work in which he employs a wide variety of traditional and contemporary poetic styles and themes. These range from fragmented imagery in free verse to reflective narratives with nostalgic tones, with each poem looking into different facets of human experience. Melancholia reflects on the historical trauma and resilience of St. Petersburg's inhabitants during wartime, while Whatever Happened to Me contrasts childhood innocence with adult anxieties. Other pieces, such as A Raindrop, muses on the cyclical nature of existence, while London Fog presents a whimsical narrative on the unpredictability of life and the unexpected connections that can arise in mundane situations. Trout portrays a fishing excursion as a metaphor for life's simple pleasures.

Theodore M. Wandzilak does an excellent job of breathing life and emotion into verse in The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry. From start to finish, I found Wandzilak's collection to be full in both its depth and versatility. I really enjoyed two pieces in particular, although all of them were able to touch me in different ways. Ditch Plains Trailer Park evokes nostalgia and connection through family vignettes, celebrating simplicity and nature's embrace, whereas Leo dove into the psyche with a surreal twist, highlighting themes of isolation and longing. Wandzilak is skilled in the art of blending traditional and contemporary styles. While I am certain that the collection is perfect for poetry lovers, I think it is comfortable enough for readers who are less familiar with poetry due to its universal accessibility. Very highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Theodore M. Wandzilak, MD., tells his life story through a collection of emotionally evocative poems in The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry. "Melancholia" is a grim reminder of the five hundred thousand men, women, and children who died of starvation during the German blockade of St. Petersburg in Russia. The titular poem, "The East Deck Motel," is a nostalgic remembrance of a euphoric time spent on the shores of a Long Island beach. In "The Springs," the author recounts his brush with death while driving a hundred miles an hour in his Mustang on a moonless summer night. In "Ditch Plains Trailer Park," Wandzilak tells a story of his college days when he used to visit his uncle, who taught him how to fish. A tryst between two young lovers goes awry in "Young Love."

Soaked in nostalgic fervor, The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry is a moving poetic memoir that offers readers a glimpse into a fully lived life composed of small, bittersweet moments. Through his poetic verses, Theodore M. Wandzilak, MD., unabashedly shares anecdotes from his life, leaving nothing out and sharing both the highs and the lows. While some poems like "Years Passing By" focus on the beautiful memories from his life, others, such as "The Stop Sign" and "Joe," might break your heart in unexpected ways. There is a tinge of humor sprinkled throughout Wandzilak's poetry that I very much enjoyed. Emotionally powerful and thematically rich, these verses will linger in your mind long after you've finished reading. I'm glad I read this collection and highly recommend it to poetry lovers.

Foluso Falaye

Theodore M Wandzilak's The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry portrays his experiences and musings in words that are simple yet deeply meaningful. The poems tell stories that reflect various aspects of the author's life, such as family, working as a physician, and a competitive chess championship in New York in 1970. A poem titled Quiet centers on the silence of an empty house and the different sounds he hears while sitting alone. In Joe, Theodore describes a former patient with an abstract smile. Years Passing By is a reflection on specific moments in the author's life, such as when he drove his daughter to school and played Steely Dan's Babylon Sisters CD. Whether he's telling a story or exploring some thought-provoking ideas, Wandzilak's poems offer a unique, memorable experience of beat poetry.

Theodore M Wandzilak's poetry is brimming with engaging elements, including brief reflections on diverse concepts like distractions, routines, and the complexity of people. Each topic is profound and not too abstract—the type you might stumble on while taking a leisurely stroll. Prepare to encounter some intriguing characters such as Uncle Bud, an auto mechanic, who used spark plugs for sinkers when bottom fishing. Wandzilak's poems are garnished with humor, rhymes, and figures of speech like personification and similes. Consequently, the collection contains a plethora of outstanding lines, such as "Life is like a somnambulant voyage." The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry can be understood without trying too hard. I recommend it to all fans of poetry and even readers who are new to poetry since its short, straightforward, and descriptive poems are a joy to read.

Jon Michael Miller

The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry by Theodore M. Wandzilak contains sixty-five deceptively accessible poems. In the preface, the author explains his strong affinity to “beat” poetry, that is, verse of the sixties or thereabouts—Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, and their cohorts. Wandzilak states that he was drawn to poetry in simple, understandable language as an escape from the complexities of medical studies. He admires the Beats’ ability to express the profundities of life in understandable terms. Wandzilak’s verse is, indeed, easy to read, with little need to consult the dictionary or Google. The title poem refers to an East Hampton spot in Montauk where he spent a lot of time. But the poet spent time in many places, which is one of the joys of his vibrant verse.

I too love complexity expressed simply, and Wandzilak’s poetry reminds me more of William Carlos Williams than of Ferlinghetti, perhaps because both were physicians who include references to their daily work life in their poems. The poems are free verse with occasional rhyme, and they present settings of startling variety: Moscow, Montana, Hawaii, Florida, and many more. The collection also presents an autobiography of a man who, despite the rigors of his profession, has lived deeply and with humor. That’s what I felt while reading these engaging and inspiring lines—the joy of living deeply; the need to contemplate one’s life, even the simple experiences, such as watching a man devour a banana in a supermarket and then simply walk out without paying. These poems overflow with the details of daily living—pleasure and pain—swirling around us in a galaxy of joyful meaning if only we take the time to see. What a great pleasure to review The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry by Theodore M. Wandzilak! These poems will inspire every reader to cherish each moment of their life.

Luwi Nyakansaila

The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry is a collection of poems by Theodore M Wandzilak, MD. The poems follow the style of beat poetry and narrate tales about the author's personal experiences, struggles, romantic life, work, thoughts, and feelings. The collection covers his childhood in Long Island and his medical work and offers a glimpse into his family life. The poems blend themes of death, war, adventure, nature, love, and family, paying particular attention to specific moments in Wandzilak's life. He talks about Katrina, the ballerina, his deceased wife, memories from hiking in the mountains, being in bars with friends, and surfing. The poems reveal some shocking facts about him and take readers on an emotional roller coaster.

The East Deck Motel and Selected Poetry is an inspiring collection of poems that span over four decades. They can be read as the author's personal memoir or journal entries because Theodore M Wandzilak lists his daily activities such as visiting Walmart, having dinner with his elderly parents, driving his daughter to school, and going fishing. This unique approach of including personal experiences in his poems made me relate to him and his struggles on a personal level. The poems are composed simply and are easy to understand, allowing readers to grasp the meanings and lessons they convey. The collection covers a wide range of topics, making it possible for everyone to find something relatable. Some poems delve into darker themes, providing a distinctive and fresh perspective on life and various situations. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and highly recommend it to anyone who loves thought-provoking poems.