A Fortune Cookie Tree of Content

Poetry - General
60 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Charlie Knowton, from the small town of Hampden Massachusetts, now living in northern Vermont, is a graduate of Keene state college, an army veteran, and the father of 2 adult sons. `A fortune cookie tree of content,' is a collection of 101 of his free verse, rhyming, Haiku and senryu poems written over the last 15 years.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

A Fortune Cookie Tree of Content, by Charlie Knowlton, is a collection of poems on various subjects, including pets and daily life, set in the state of Vermont. There is something for everyone here, and with both rhyming and free verse poems, you will be richly rewarded with over 100 freethinking ideas and imagery. Most of the poems are like quick snapshots, slices of life that nature and animal lovers will connect with, especially those who share their lives with pets. He also refers to human behavior. If you like a dash of humor in your poetry, including various styles, this collection fills the bill, offering haiku and Senryu that delivers dry wit and bits of wisdom.

Knowlton's poems are like cracking open a fortune cookie, with a gem of a poem inside each one. Even the titles suggest his style and frame of mind, especially the quirky ones, such as Nursery Rhyme Sarcasm, Craigslist Freudian Slip, and You've Been Chopped. My favorite is the rhyming poem June, precious June, but there are many here to like. His phrasing is beautiful, the imagery full of life and meaning. He makes poetry look easy, and it sounds easy and breezy on the ears, lyrical, and perfectly constructed. If you're into nature and poems about pets, you'll feel the warm sunshine and a chill in the air, and relate to the references that only a pet owner can understand. His attention to detail in his observations is what pulls you into the poems, like in Obituary of a Moth, and Born in November. If you've bypassed poetry for the last few years for whatever reason, and want to have fun reading it, do yourself a favor and get reacquainted with A Fortune Cookie Tree of Content by Charlie Knowlton.

Ana-Maria Leasa

A Fortune Cookie Tree of Content by Charlie Knowlton is a collection of story-like poems, puns, haiku, and senryu poetry. It is divided into two parts. The first part includes the poems, of which some can be seen as very short stories, and also some puns. The second part consists mainly of several haiku and senryu poems. Throughout the book, Knowlton works with different forms of rhyme and various themes in easy-to-understand and read language. His poems also vary in length from very short poems, like "RSVP," to poems of considerable length, like "09A 59 Chevy, Riverside park, and those Manchonis road blues."

One of the aspects that I liked about A Fortune Cookie Tree of Content by Charlie Knowlton is the variety of rhymes and themes found in his poems. From cross rhyme in "The Power of Lilacs", to white rhyme in "Tequila sunrise". The concept of time was present in poems like "Born in November", the nature of love in "Date Night", and that of death in "Obituary of a Moth." Each poem from this book was like a light and pleasant breeze that I welcomed and enjoyed as it tingled my senses. I was also pleasantly surprised by the puns with lines such as "My truck is so old," followed by "My truck is so old that when I gas up I get a free Flinstone glass," and "My truck is so old that potholes cover up when they see me coming."

Maria Victoria Beltran

A Fortune Cookie Tree of Content by Charlie Knowlton is a mesmerizing book of poetry divided into two parts. The first part contains over a hundred free verses and the second part consists of senryu and haiku poems. Inventive, beautiful, and deep, the poems muse on subjects of recurrent relevance in fresh, literary ways. The poems are brief and each word counts in these poems, including the titles. Charlie Knowlton’s poetry collection combines brilliant imagery with beautiful structures and innovative ideas as follows: 'June, precious June, prettiest girl in the room/You’re the bride of the wedding in lilac perfume.' The tone changes with the weather in the poem: 'And just like that one swing of the ax/ Autumn’s been felled and winter is back.'

With poems that are both imaginative and refined, Charlie Knowlton’s A Fortune Cookie Tree of Content is a pleasant read. Its topics include nature, animals, human existence, and the reach of human love. I find the poems about animals witty like 'Michelle’s cat Smiddy, is 19 years old/I pick him up, his fur comes off/I put him down, his fur comes off.' The untitled haiku and senryu poems in this collection are sometimes enigmatic coming off as random visual imageries and thoughts that the author wants to express. Nevertheless, the author’s sense of humor manifests itself in: 'Chinese restaurant... when no one’s looking i use the fork.' This is a powerful collection of poetry with great imagery and a playful tone. Highly recommended!