Here is Americana at its best–the WWII years. America is doggedly hanging on, awaiting the return of her heroes, knowing there will be parades for some and processions for others. The author, an accomplished rhetoric instructor, lived these poignant years and is in early sync with the reader through interesting insights into each poem. He takes the reader on a heartfelt, personal tour of small-town America, using real people coupled with poetic imagination.
The Poignant Years is historically accurate, but, more importantly, it reveals what lies beneath major historical events. This is where people live–where they laugh and cry, where they struggle and sympathize, where they huddle together for warmth when fear is rife.
For small town America, it was a slower time–a time of deep relationships where the ritual of life was sharing. It was a time of paucity–dealing with harsh winters in clapboard houses, but a time of morality when locks were not needed for security.
Hear the voices of the school children who fear Hitler’s bomb; laugh at the awkward expressions of the newly pubescent boy, and empathize with the tender murmurings of the Gold Star Mother. These are the voices of the admirable Americans who could only “stand and wait.”