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A New Life

Poems by Ralph Dranow

The 76 vivid poems in A New Life by Ralph Dranow

offer us a unique and compassionate view

of what it is to be human.

People on the fringe of society reveal their humanity and touch the poet's heart,

as do ordinary people doing seemingly ordinary things,

whose goodness could easily be overlooked

except for the poet's discerning glance.

A father spending hours looking for his young daughter's toy in Professor of Patience

achieves a modest nobility,

as does the family sloppily but joyfully playing Frisbee in the park in Happiness.

In this collection of poems, the old life becomes the new life

through the poet's discovery of the mystery and wonder

that lie just beneath the surface of our everyday lives.

Ralph Dranow is a widely published poet with a lifelong fascination about people's life stories.

I've been slowly savoring and loving your book. What a great gift to the world!

I admire your courage to keep opening and exploring the depths of your own soul,

and to share the vulnerabilities and strengths,

uncertainties and wisdom you find.

~ Charles Burack, author, Songs to My Beloved and Leaves of Light

“Accessible, poignant and heartfelt ~

poem after poem the reflections of a tender, wise, and loving heart.

The combination of simplicity and artistry is stunning.

Ralph Dranow speaks of the fullness of our moments,  

the blessings and aches at all stages of life ~

from a memory at age 2 to portraits of grandparents at the end of their lives.

The collection feels like a celebration of what it is to be human;

thank you for this beautiful gift.”

~ Joanne Sultar

“Although I've a very prosaic nature, not given to poetic rapture,

I've been touched and inspired by Rumi and by Ralph.

Both paint for me such clear and intense images that open my heart

and bring a magic to the scenes of life they portray.

Ralph's poetry is tender and honest and bittersweet. 

He shares the raw truth of human experience with us from childhood to seniority

and the word glimpses, like snapshots, of everyday experiences

are like sweet-sour candy melting on the tongue.

For me, Ralph's poems open the heart

to embrace our shared mundane world with surprise and delight. 

Even when he is describing a painful moment or memory,
his view is compassionate.

He is a keen observer of human activity, feelings, and relationship,

and his poems nestle into the heart in a genuinely comforting way.”    

~ Shonen Bressler


They're playing Frisbee in the park,

Husband and wife,

Three skinny young girls.

The woman is pillowy,

Plump like a dumpling.

"Mama!" one of the girls,

About six, calls,

Tossing the Frisbee to her.

Mama lunges at it,

Misses badly,

A lead-footed dancer.

Gleeful laughter bubbles

From the older girls

And Mama joins in.

The father,

A compact man,

Tosses the Frisbee

With elegant nonchalance.

The others, though,

Never catch or throw it right

But it doesn't matter.

Each errant toss,

Flubbed catch

Is a new adventure,

Cause for fresh merriment.

The smallest girl,

About three,

Struggles with the Frisbee.

Her father stands behind her,

Tenderly guides her arm

And the Frisbee

Until she can throw it

A few feet

To giggles and applause.

Afterwards, the family

Lies down together,

A tight circle,

Well-spent bodies

Draped against one another,

Sipping sodas,

Munching snacks.

The father leans lazily

Against his younger daughter.

Watching all this,

A window into

Something simpler, gentler,

I feel a flutter

Caressing my chest.



$14.95 / print edition

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