Guy Arneson will be perfectly honest when he titles his assortment of poems A Life in Poetry (Xlibris, 2009). The speaker in these poems lays bare the life of a person who's fallen deeply in love, only to have that love betrayed. In the depths of his despair, he considered God for comfort. Even while he prayed God would send him an angel, a lady he could respect and who would not repeat the tragedy of his heartbreak. toponguiders
The poems which address this tale of loss and redemption dominate the collection, and range in emotional tone from blissful to sad to bitter. The very best of these are the blissful poems, including the eloquent ode "You Are Woman" and the earthy "My Baby Back." "My Baby Back" can be an exploration on the themes of physical love and food, twin pleasures in a sensual feast. Such as a good country or blues song, "My Baby Back" is not as self-conscious to have silly:
"And in the event that you asked
what I like the absolute most
"I'd have to say
Your juicy rump roast"
The absolute most amusing poem in this series might be "Stuck on Stupid," where he admits he and his new love might be rather dim, but he doesn't mind, because she is sexy and he's fallen in love with her. But when you're buying a poem to recite at a wedding or on another romantic occasion, you can't go wrong with the collection's opening verse, "My Heart," or the lovely, chant-like "To Be One."
The poems'love-struck speaker turns to God at other times, too, as when he feels frustrated at the quantity of hate and misunderstanding in the world. Poems such as for example "Smoke and Mirror Alibi," "A Child Cried," and "Cosmic Father" touch on current events, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and express the speaker's love for his fellow human beings overall religious and political differences.
Other religious imagery in this collection is more traditional. There are a few poems of praise, but Arenson's creativity as a storyteller comes through best when he puts a Biblical story into their own words. There are three such poems in this collection ("Apocalyte," "The Creation," and "A Child Is Born"), and they stand among his best.
Plus a love of God, the poems express a love of nature and a problem for the environment. Primarily, though, they give attention to the loving bond between man and God and the complex, sometimes painful relationship between man and woman. Though some of Arenson's rhymed poetry tends toward well-known, A Life in Poetry will interest both lovers of Christian poetry and lovers of love poetry.