Life of Poetry

Author Interview
Ron Penoyer Author Interview

Near Scattered Praise Lies Our Substantial Endeavor is a fascinating collection of poetry comprised of poems written from the mid-60s to current day and covers a wide range of life experiences. What inspires you to write poetry?

From an early age of perhaps 12 or 13, I began to be genuinely fascinated by the ways in which words “worked together” (or failed to work together) to make sense — or, in fact, did not make sense. These actions were most evident to me in the reading and writing of poetry, so that phenomenon is likely what drew me to poetry as a means of experimenting and taking pleasurable chances with language that were somehow “legal” or acceptable. Usually the world also made a different kind of sense inside the wondrous confines of poetry, so that had an appeal to me.

What are some emotions or themes you find your poetry often exploring?

I find that I am frequently drawn toward making meaningful distinctions between the seemingly esoteric and the seemingly everyday — both in actual substance in real life (IRL) and also in words and discussions and thoughts and considerations (in abstractions). More frequently, however, I find that I am considering and challenging my relationship with God. I’m often startled by the frequency with which I am considering this relationship. For instance, a minor poem invoking the Spanish Inquisition can suddenly become a larger questioning of a larger universe than the one I had in mind. A poem such as “Rules of Engagement,” in which I was trying to play with the placement of words to achieve different meanings, becomes a poem rich in the dust of pervasive and insistent mortality… These are wonderful “morphs,” by the way! These wonderful surprises and twists and turns are the great things we live for, and we don’t even know it!

My favorite poem from this collection is ‘Mr. Oppenheimer’s Revenge’. Do you have a favorite poem from this book?

I am extremely glad and grateful that your favorite poem is “Mr. Oppenheimer’s Revenge.” I am struck — struck! — by my own lines, “How does our own resemblance/stagger into the divine?”

One of my favorite poems in the collection is “Countdown” simply because it launched (pun?) me into a quiet, “undercover” life of poetry. It was my first published poem, it encouraged some notice in the publishing world, and it confirmed for me that I could do whatever I wanted in the world of poetry.

Do you have plans to write and publish more works of poetry?

Yes, I have plans to write and publish more works of poetry. But I am in a hospice program that may have other plans for me. It’s that simple… lol… However, should I have more time left on the clock than I think possible, I would be tempted to conduct more work on the truly difficult item on the agenda, which are the “petites essais” I’ve brought forth in the final section of this book. I say very little about them, but to be taken seriously — or taken at all! — I need to say far more about what they mean to me.

Author Links: Goodreads

Ron Penoyer is a deceptively polite and self-effacing poet.

His ambitious collection, Near Scattered Praise Lies Our Substantial Endeavor, is subtle in its exploration of contrasts, balancing between the light and dark of our natures and confronting the mystery of our destiny. His collection includes a unique, deeply felt love poem about the simple act of driving across a covered bridge, while it also embraces a poem that observes contemporary society as a “Diet of Worms.”

For thoughtful readers of poetry, Penoyer builds landscapes and vistas in which meaningful destinations may be discovered. Within the collection itself, he precedes his poem about a 1960’s launch of a Saturn V rocket with a poem describing the ancient lure of Stonehenge, while he completes the vista with an exploration of the shocking but weighty evanescence of fireflies.

Adventurous poetry readers will likely recognize Penoyer’s picaresque. He has been suspected of coaxing the Winged Victory of Samothrace into somehow taking flight in the Louvre, and he has been known to linger as an amateur sleuth on Hampstead Heath on a certain afternoon in 1819, suspicious of a bird.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 30, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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