Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
True to Life by Duane Ashley Pool is a collection of poems about everyday life situations. The author says that life as we have it at any particular moment is real, and there are two sides to any life situation. He writes about how we self destruct with negative thoughts and behaviors and how we can pick ourselves up to fight yet another day. Pool uses a great deal of nature and positive thinking and speaks of love, power, and rejection, about being different, judgmental and nonjudgmental thinking and remembering one's roots.
Duane Poole has a gift for words, and his thoughts are sometimes lyrical. The poetry itself is reminiscent of a rap song and indeed, in most cases, the poetry would lend itself to music. Because rap typically has a pseudo-rhyming cadence, the stretches in rhyme are not so noticeable as they would be in a more set meter of poetry. The interesting thing about the poems is their universal appeal. I found myself thinking that the author was a man wise beyond his young years. The poems will appeal in particular to teens who oftentimes have feelings of self-doubt and ambiguity as to where they "belong." This book could be an interesting addition to an English literature class as the themes are ones to which most teens could relate. At the end, the author treats us to poems by his mother and grandmother. It is easy to see from whence Mr. Poole's literary talent flows.