No Robin Hood and Other Poems by Early Handley
A collection of over fifty poems, No Robin Hood and Other Poems by Earl Handley covers a wide range of topics, including pieces that are both sentimental and humorous. An avid hunter whose main tool in catching game is his trusted bow and arrow, Handley recounts many of his hunting expeditions throughout the collection. While he has been successful thirty-nine times over the years, many of the poems are about his unsuccessful hunts, as the poet explains through his words that at times he has learned more through his failures than when he caught something. While some of the poems are based on his real life, other pieces are fictional, offering a nice balance that showcase the poet’s life, and also his storytelling ability through made up accounts. Nearly every poem is an easy to read one page piece, with the exception of the titular poem and a couple of other longer pieces.
This collection is easy to read and would appeal to those who are avid hunters, especially those who enjoy hunting with a bow and arrow. There are poems here for everyone, as Handley recounts everything from the death of his father, to his love of fishing. Since the poems have been written over a long period of time in Handley’s life, you can hear his voice filtered through different ages as he learns and grows into the man he has become. Even though there are more than fifty poems included here, the book is a pretty quick read. Nevertheless, it is easy to linger on some of the more complex poems like the titular ‘No Robin Hood’ that opens the collection, as well as ‘Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life.’ All in all, Handley has constructed an appealing book that many readers of poetry are bound to enjoy.
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