The Dailies by David Cornberg: Review

David Cornberg’s The Dailies, is a treat for any poetry lover. The book begins on March 11th, the author’s birthday, and features one poem for every day of the year. The poems, mostly free verse, vary in length and meter. Each day’s work provides a new and joyful surprise in the form of prose.


The first poem of the book, March 11th: “All Water is Holy” calls upon the elements of nature and sets the tone for the book. Several of the poems relate to the natural world and how we interact or observe it. On March 12th, the poem “In Motion” is a short, poignant work that speaks of the human role in nature while calling up an earthy sensibility.

My favorite poem of the book was perhaps the title work of March 19th. It starts:

“Pick a day
of any year
start the poem”

and speaks of the emotion and involvement in expressing oneself through the written word. The poem starts gently, slowly, then picks up pace to a soulful conclusion:

“Digress regress
or tearfully confess
That joy of lonely
On your own rhythm’s
Reeling back.”

In the early parts of the book, the poems talk more deeply about nature. Every few months the tone shifts slightly to something of a more spiritual and then industrial nature. I found this slight change the perfect complement to makeup of the book. As the world turns quietly each day toward a new season, so do the poems in The Dailies

On May 3rd: “Summer Storm” builds gracefully while increasing intensity:

“The summer storm
talks it’s way
up the slough”

It comes to a crescendo-like end with:

“Cascading thunder
Cannonades up the slough
The roaring words of
first drops.”

The reader can easily evoke the silence that comes before a sudden downpour. The feeling that time stops for just a moment, before nature reminds us of its presence and power.

An especially lovely poem appears on May 8th with “Small Misses.” It speaks of the “Murphy’s Law” type happenings of life. The poem has a soothing meter to ear when read aloud, and is delightful in transforming the everyday moments into something truly sweet and inspirational.

Throughout the book the subjects of space, slough, rain, are frequent themes. Often nature and the often unnoticed realities of life are called into play. On June 30th, the poem “Forest Floor” is an ambitious work that draws the reader in, and makes us feel as if a life whizzing by.

My favorite poems of the books are those with a splendid sense of rhyme and meter, such as “Light” on July 14th. The words sings almost like a bluesy piece of music – short, but speaking volumes with its melody.

On August 16th: “The More” offers inspiration in the face of a hostility and changing world. No matter the intimidation, ridicule, or trouble imposed, “The More” tells the tale of a strong man, secure in himself.

As the poems head toward fall, the subject matter becomes more spirited, and questioning. On October 12th: “Heritage” is a moving statement on the passing of generations. The struggles on the earlier ancestors who gave us this beautiful and all too easy life.

As we enter winter the poetry becomes more industrial, describing work processors, functions, and necessities of daily life. On December 23rd the poem “Simplest” describes spirit in perhaps the barest of terms:

“Worship is still
Meditation is silent
Prayer is receptive”

On January 7th another favorite emerges with “Springs.” This delightful poem speaks to the music of an everyday item. It reminds each of us to create our own melody, wherever we are in life, and wherever we would like to be.

The subject matter in the final poems of The Dailies are a combination of nature, spirit, thought, and wonder. The book concludes as a bursting finale and the last poem, especially, is a nice finish to the work. The Dailies is a wonderful mix of poetry – certain to hold the reader’s interest from day to day.

Book provided by author.

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