ABOUT THIS BOOK Reading Is to See, to Be Absorbed and Other Poems gives us the feeling of acceleration beyond ourselves. The over seventy-odd poems, some set in fixed rhyming stanzas, some in free verse and poems in prose, carry us into the mystery of present-ness in Otherness. In poem after poem, this present-ness never stops blinking for our attention. Many poems employ traditional rhyming with metered language and refrains, with surprising approximate rhymes and other phonetic intensives that are highly pleasing to the ear. Although the poems seem "religious" and might be construed as the journey of a soul -- we come across Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita, Purusha from the Upanishads, St. Ignatius contemplating the crucifying of Christ, and St Francis in ecstasy outside his cave at Mount Verna -- the poems in no way employ the language of religious orthodoxy. Rather, a sensuousness of nature imagery and metaphor, often surrealistic, and frequent allusions to mythical figures turn us around and around in awe in our core consciousness, while viewing a Life beyond ourselves. The poems, which were written over a thirty-five-year time period, are laid out in three sections. The first section includes 33 poems divided into the cycle of seasons, beginning with 9 poems of Autumn, 1975. Poems such as "The Warning we Would Not Admit" and "Demoniac" suggest changes, maybe trouble ahead; habits and attitude must be gotten rid of. "Advance of Horsemen" one of the 7 poems of Winter, 1981, conveys visions into an icy, surreal, murderous disorder. In this group, "A Newer Pantheon" suggests distraction is our habitual state. Poems in Spring, 1983, include the longest poem in the collection, "Meditation on Palestrina's Pope Marcellus Mass," and one of the shortest, "For Dorothy and Hiram," both suggesting we can cultivate awareness of the unseen, learn to hear the universe speak, and can learn to respond. Ten poems of Summer, 1985, including "Woodward to Oakland," a poem about Woodward Avenue, one of Detroit's historic traffic arteries, and another contemplating geraniums, entitled "Windowsill Metaphysical," all are poems to celebrate the lifted vision, an awareness of love as another word for "connectedness," and learning to enter that realm for the secret good we desire and need. The second group of poems, twenty-one Sonnets: Remembrance, 1975 - 2005, recounts moments in the writer's experience of a clash - and his resolution of the struggle -- between fixed religion, requiring loyalty and routine observance; and the sweep of spirit finding the divine both within and beyond, unbound from externals and needing no intermediary. These sonnets in classic Petrarchan form, record the discovery and rejoicing in the intoxicating beauty that the eyes of a lover can see. The last group, New Poems: Royal Oak, 2010 - 2011, written most recently at the writer's current residence in suburban Detroit, are a mixed bag of fourteen poems ranging from "Pondering Total Presence," to "Great-Uncle Will," to "Observing Recent Royal Wedding Hoopla and the Royal Kiss," and on to "Trench Coat." These last poems have none of the sense of a self at war with itself as in earlier poems. We see in New Poems a spirit that is more lucid, who has come to understand things seen and things hidden, and knows something that is pure and pervades all things. The collection concludes with the appropriately titled end poem, "Something About Immersions."
About the Author: Ronald Leslie Leinweber was born on a Lake County farm in western Michigan in 1932 and has been a lifelong resident of the state. He was educated at Central Michigan College of Education, majoring in English and German, where he received a Michigan teacher's certification, and the University of Michigan, where he was awarded an MA in English Literature. Upon being drafted, he served in the 4th Infantry Division Artillery in Germany during the so-called "cold war." He taught high school students in Frankenmuth and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, until he retired in 1986. In his mid-forties he completed a degree in theological studies at William Tyndale College and subsequently taught a variety of Humanities classes there. Between periods of retirement, he wrote for and was editor for a county newspaper. He has received training in meditation techniques and facilitates several meditation on groups. In 2006, he completed a two-year program of studies in Spiritual Direction at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House and began volunteer work in the Oakland county Jail., where he taught a class and assisted in one-on-one counseling. He currently resides in Royal Oak, Michigan.