Rooted in My Seeds by Franklin Bill

The 2014 Red City Review Book Awards First Prize Winner – Poetry


An enthralling collection of over eighty poems, Rooted in My Seeds, by Franklin C. Bill contains poetry that is hard to forget. By constructing pieces that are both inventive and formed in planned organized lines, Bill has written words that explore out to the edges of one’s humanity. The poems are filled with questions, about life, about nature, and about what it means to be alive, in the here and now. The idea of ink, and the power to write itself is also discussed frequently among these poems, as the ability to write poetry in the first place is such an amazing feat that the poet clearly believes should never be taken for granted. The feeling that comes from writing is a sensation like any other, as any poet knows, writing words down upon the page can be a kind of therapy, as it appears it may be for Bill. And just as his own writing helps him sort through the trials and tribulations of his own life, his poetry offers recourse to those who read it, as they journey along the avenues he has created so eloquently pairing words and phrases together with such delicacy. There are so many powerful pieces here, but a few that stand out in particular are ‘This Time in Another Place,’ ‘In Soft Ripened Old Age,’ and ‘The Promise.’

As the title of this collection suggests, Rooted in My Seeds is not only a reflection on a life lived, but about the death that approaches all of us. Every day we live we are one day closer to our demise, a fact that has always been, and a fact that will never change. Through personal reflections and by recounting or creating stories about others, Bill delves deeply into the consciousness of what it means to be mortal. The form of his poems are for the most part rather similar, with stanzas of a manageable size and poems that usually don’t stretch on for more than one page. But what really stands out about this collection and causes it to be something special is the way that the poet is able to create a consistency that flows together, yet construct separate poetic pieces that have a voice all their own. Franklin C. Bill has a way with words that most writers only wish they were capable of.