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The Silence of Contemplation

T.P. Graf
T.P. Graf Author Interview

Looking Out Onto Our World is a compelling collection of introspective poems. How did you decide which poems to include in the collection?

As I have shared many of these with friends over the years, I often found that certain ones I thought wouldn’t inspire much of a connection did in fact do so. With that in mind, I did little culling from my musings. While I concentrated on a definite theme in my other collection, August Kibler’s Stories for Tyler, (Bible characters) here I allowed the many years of pondering stand for itself with all the diversity in topics, mood and inspiration.

Where do you find your mind often wandering when you write poetry?

I am most fed by nature and the silence of contemplation within natural surroundings. However, I also try to better inform my own complicity with evil by digging deeply into contemporary issues and always trying not to buy the convenient answer too often sold to us by those in any role of power. Despite the darkness of any present moment, I know the work I have to do is to find hope and act on such as to bring those hopes to fruition.

‘Heavenly Drone’ is my favorite poem from the collection. Do you have a poem that stands out to you from this collection?

Heavenly Drone was inspired by a large fully-in-bloom Cenizo bush which was covered in bees. You could walk right up to the bush to watch them work—oblivious to my presence. The slightly modulating hum of their work was like a hymn of gratitude.

The Refugee is certainly one I would like for many to read and contemplate. On the lighter side of things, I have a fondness for Draft Horse Journal inspired by Amish neighbors working along side “modern farming.”

Do you plan to write and publish more works of poetry?

2020 has brought me to taking up some time to write two novels—something I’ve never made an attempt at before. I released As the Daisies Bloom at the same time as this collection and am working on finalizing a follow-up to it—Roots, Branches and Buzz Saws – More Stories of August Kibler. I hope to have this second novel released in January 2021.

Other than that, only time and inspiration will tell. I continue to jot down musings as they come to me. If it gets to a “collection’s worth,” I will release it so it is there for any interested.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

Long abandoning the popular notions of optimism and pessimism, Looking Out onto Our World is a many-year journey, with plenty to despair, yet always with a mind toward hope, joy, and celebrating the many free gifts of creation. You are invited into musings that on one page delve into our complex complicity and on the next observe as a simple creature goes about its daily work. You are invited to examine where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are headed. It is a celebration of life and the grace that comes at the cost of each of us recognizing what we have done and what is still ours to do.

Looking Out Onto Our World

Looking Out onto Our World is a compilation of largely introspective poems that takes us to T. P. Graf’s homeland along a spiritual journey across life’s most unexpected moments juxtaposed with more recent world events. T. P. Graf’s poems are alive with sensory experience, and refuse standard conventions of storytelling.

His verses are crowded and confident, bringing together sequences of characteristically long and winding poems, with shorter, punchier entries and brief narrative explanation. Each word in each verse is deliberate, as if arranged for maximum impact. There’s a heavy social critique to many of the poems, and a detached tone that describes “Predatory drones drone on night and day. Any vestige of dignity long removed. Eden obliterated by fire for profit.” And that sense is broadly on display in poem after poem.

Themes are revisited with similar language to explore a wide world of thought, but it’s hard to find the same sense of deep feeling in each. Though the book’s verse is not particularly complex, it is gripping and compelling, and will engage even the most reluctant poetry reader. The poems are accessible, relatable and without pretense, confronting their audience with what it means to look at our world, with all its agonizing complexity. The truths are surprising, but then, whose truths are they? The casualties’ of long wars on overseas soil, or our distant author’s? Is T. P. Graf true to his own voice and his own sense of what constitutes poetry, or do the verses transcend it?

Pages: 244 | ASIN: B08C5LN91L

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