Reviews - What do customers think about Halfway Decent Sinners?
Gobsmacked Mar 24, 2007
I was intrigued by the title but was surprised at how rivited I was reading this collection. Perhaps it has something to do with the humor and insight that Cleary uses to describe those adolescent experiences shared by so many that kept me reading,as a closet full of unexamined memories of my own began to surface. I was unprepared and gobsmacked by his work and closed the book hungry for more. Casey Henson
Poetry for the everyman Feb 8, 2007
Cleary writes the kind of poetry we all can relate to.Written from the heart,these poems will move you deeply.Even if your not a big fan of poetry i feel everyone will enjoy these poems.
Exceptional poetry, highly recommended Dec 7, 2006
The back cover photo of Michael Cleary captures a man with twinkling eyes and mischievous smile. His poetry reflects that humor, but Cleary's work is multi-faceted. One critic extols his "eloquent exploration of our flawed human condition." This book is, indeed, drawn from a world he observes with a keen eye, then mourns or celebrates through a facile weaving of words. The Church becomes "a sacred rigamarole of faith." Youthful fear is "dumb hope doing its best not to shudder or let go." Humorous. Eloquent. Facile. Angry. Empathetic. Cleary's poetry is all these things and more.
If I had a favorite section in this book, it was a group of poems about Aunt Sara. Sara loved indiscreetly but passionately. She forgave, made allowances. In "Aunt Sara and the Man Dying by Ounces" she watches from a distance the family black sheep, for example, the war veteran destroyed by alcoholism:
Knowing how hope ends, she wraps his madness in the brutal fact of dying: how not letting go was all he had left to do, hoarding drops as if they were minutes, anything to slow the leaking of his days.
From the patient, penetrating heat of Florida to failed relationships and an agnostic's struggle with organized religion, Cleary paints his word pictures with candor and skill. Michael Cleary's poetry, whatever the topic, is exceptional and highly recommended.
A remarkable collection of memorable poetry drawn from the work of Michael Cleary Jun 12, 2006
Halfway Decent Sinners is a remarkable collection of memorable poetry drawn from the work of Michael Cleary. Intuitively mapping out the truths and perceptive realities of life through skillfully constructed word images, rhythms, and patterns, Halfway Decent Sinners deftly maneuvers the English language through pragmatic principles human attributes in a world of undeniable truths and restrictive social boundaries. Ex-Jock On Faith, Free Throws, Follow-Through: I believe/what the mind conceives/before the body acts/determines the aftermath./Freeze the last motion./Command grace with your will./Love the flight of the ball.//I believe/the ball knows/when the body knows/what to do after/the ball is gone./The heart's work is not done./The ending has only begun.