Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Book and a Chat with Leonard Roller

From ancient Greece to the 21st century, poets have gazed at the heavens, trying to unlock the mystery and beauty of the cosmos in verse. In his charming new collection, DARKLIGHT, Leonard H. Roller, one of those poetic seekers, leavens his fascination with the cosmos and love of writing poetry with a gentle humor that will leave readers chuckling while they ponder the great celestial questions and What It All Means.

In the 77 poems in DARKLIGHT, Roller employs a range of poetic styles – from classical sonnets to free verse – to present his unique vision of such astronomical concepts as black holes, dark energy, the “Big Bang” theory, white dwarf stars , multiverses, the possible beginning and end of our universe and the existence of God.

Readers need not be well-versed in such subjects – or in poetry itself – to enjoy Roller’s poems. His writing is user-friendly and will appeal to those who love poetry, are intrigued by cosmology, as well as those looking for something different, a touch of profundity, but refreshingly free of pretense and confusing obscurity. Roller’s ideas and writing style go down easily. Simply put, the poems in DARKLIGHT are fun.

Roller holds advanced degrees in journalism and literature, is well-read in physics and astronomy. His love affair with the heavens began as a “star struck” boy peering into the night sky through a telescope given to him as a birthday gift. Though infatuated with poetry throughout his life, he began to take writing poetry seriously after reading a book by actor Stephen Fry titled “The Ode Less Traveled,” a manual on poetic style and form.

“I discovered that I really wanted to write poems,” Roller says. Astronomy and things celestial became natural subjects for him. In time, he started to send his work to literary magazines, where many of his poems were published.

Roller’s poetry reflects his darkly humorous view of the universe. “It has both a light side and a dark side. I don’t know what God had in mind, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that He made the world – and us -- tongue-in-cheek, a cosmic cocktail of tears and laughter.”

The imagery of Roller’s poems is striking and amusing. A black hole is likened to a gobbling troll, a quasar to a wedding feast, the death of stars to the fading of a movie queen:

As time and celestial taste go by,
They are no longer stellar queens.
Whether with a shriek or a sigh,
They leave the screen.

Roller hopes his poems will encourage readers to think a little about where we came from and where we’re going, “...about what we’re doing here and why.”

So listen now and share an interesting and entertaining show as I chat with my special guest today on A Book and a Chat with Leonard Roller


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Barry Eva (Storyheart)

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