by A.E. Fonner
Author A. E. Fonner heard a call to go beyond what he was. Reborn and Other Versifications is the answer to that call.
Arranged in an evolutionary fashion, these verses demonstrate both personal growth and the process of grieving. As a whole, they illustrate the series of emotions we all experience as we make sense of the world around us and of our life within that world. In “Darkness,” Fonner shares poetry that came to him at some of the lowest points in his life. “Twilight” includes poems written during the times when he could sense that the storms had passed and the clouds were lifting. Then the verses of “Light” offer explorations of joy.
This collection of poetry presents a journey from darkness into light, depicting the progression of human emotions over the course of our lives.
Gabby Shacknai on http://www.pacificbookreview.com/reborn-and-other-versifications/ wrote:
Reborn and Other Versifications
by A. E. Fonner
book review by Michael Radon
"When sad, she offers relieving cheer.
When troubled, she takes the darkest fear.
Her presence calms the tempest sea.
My love throughout remains with me."
Collecting roughly three dozen poems into this brief, direct volume, the author shares his creativity and perspective with the reader on a personal level. The poems in this book are organized into three chapters that follow a logical progression of themes. The first chapter, “Lost in the Dark,” focuses on primarily negative emotions and difficult, trying times or situations. The second chapter, “Through the Twilight,” is more transitional in its perspective, looking forward to the good while expecting the bad. The final chapter, “Emerge in the Light” contains poems that are hopeful, exuberant, or celebrate the benefits of faith.
Covering a full spectrum of human emotions and reactions to events of all kinds, the verses in this book will surely foster empathy and entertain. These poems can either be read and considered individually or by following this journey from dark to light and read in succession to provide commiseration to those who are suffering and inspire hope that things will get better with time and trust. Almost every selection in this book is accompanied by a striking illustration that captures the theme or stirs the reader’s imagination, ranging from cartoons to pop art to classical paintings. Each poem offers its own style and approach aside from the chapter where it belongs, adapting varying rhyme schemes or degrees of lightheartedness. The end result is a collection that is a delight to read from cover to cover, twisting the reader’s expectations one way or the other while still following the linear direction of the overall organization of the work. Perfect for a quick burst of creative inspiration or emotional support, the presentation and range of this work cause it to stand out.
Poetry remains one of the few genres of literature that is consistently deferred to the classics—Shakespeare, Yeats, Whitman, and even Robert Frost—but rarely are 21st- century poets deemed worthy of discussion. Author and poet A.E. Fonner, however, makes a compelling case for this trend to be rebuffed in his latest poetry anthology, Reborn and Other Versifications.
Throughout his brief but rich collection of poetry, Fonner takes readers on a lyrical journey of personal growth in response to troubling loss and grief. Reborn and Other Versifications is inherently evolutionary, beginning with “Lost in the Dark,” which appears to reflect the poet’s lowest possible point and features verse which is entirely devoid of hope. The journey then progresses to “Through the Twilight,” a section whose poetry begins to see the light shining through the darkness he has found himself so immune to. Finally, we are taken through “Emerge in the Light,” which boasts optimistic poetry that embodies and explores the many joys of life.
In “Misery,” Fonner captures the utter hopelessness of depression and grief with lines like “In silence, the night passes / Slowly into day, / Marked only by the beating / Of a wounded heart.” As the collection becomes more and more aware of the goodness that remains past the darkness, though, the poet brings God into his verse, attributing the hope he now feels to religion. In “From Darkness (Rise New),” for instance, Fonner writes, “Blackness recedes; the void’s made full once more. / Out of His grace, life is wrought from ash bleak.”
While Fonner’s collection offers a deeply personal account of the poet’s passage from misery to happiness, the various poems it contains go far beyond his own experiences and become wholly adaptable and therefore relatable to their readers. Whether adhering to traditional rhyme and meter or exploring unchartered terrain, Fonner’s poetry does not get caught up in the aesthetics and instead does what the genre does best: it makes known to readers that regardless of how alone they may feel, they are never truly the only ones experiencing the pain, grief, questioning, or joy that comes with life.
Reborn and Other Versifications is the ideal read for anyone who has ever doubted the goodness of the world or who has felt adrift in his or her own life. While Fonner’s anthology is deeply religious at times, it will remind readers that, with religion or not, we all experience sadness and grief but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, a sentiment every human could do with being reminding of in today’s world.
A. E. Fonner grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania. After spending six years in the US Navy, he settled in Illinois but moved on to other opportunities after ten years. The father of two adult daughters, he currently lives in southwestern Michigan and works in quality assurance in the electrical generating industry. He holds a bachelor of science degree in technical management from DeVry University and has self-published one novel, Ones Such as These.