POETRY REVIEW: Against The Night by PMF Johnson

Title:                Against The Night: Love Poems                                  Against The Night PMF Johnson

Author:            PMF Johnson

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About The Author (In his own words)

I am a novelist and poet married to Sandra Rector. We love reading, finding new restaurants, and travel. We celebrate each victory, no matter how small, and never work on Saturdays. In the evenings, I read novels to Sandy for fun. In this way, we have slowly made our way through Middlemarch, Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre and many others. Some are better than others, we’ve decided, and you can’t always tell by reputation. But our favourites at the moment include Trollope and Henry James.

I have been writing poetry and fiction for many years, learning more than I necessarily wanted to about humility and such virtues.

I write two irregular blogs — once every other week or so — 1st, about (other people’s) poetry in current magazines, at PoetryCommentary; 2nd, about (other people’s) novels, at FictionCommentary  Both explore how writers create the effects they do.


Book Blurb

These 88 poems sparkle up a smile about a long love’s journey that still bangs sprightly as an old jalopy. Here is the tale of a marriage built in parts like a bicycle, old-fashioned as fudge. These poems burn, soothe, scrawl for help with a sharpened spoon. Poems quick as hope. Poems to replace your breath with fire.

Many have appeared in such magazines as The North American Review, Nimrod International Journal, The Atlanta Review, The Midwest Quarterly, The Portland Review, and elsewhere. Enjoy them today!


The Review

Against The Night: Love Poems is a book of love poems that the author has written to his wife Sandra. The beauty of that dedication was the first thing that struck me, as did the very descriptive cover… looking out into the night together is what true love stands for.

The book itself is captivating, right from the word go. The introductory poem immediately tells you what is special about the book, these are love poems with a difference. They are not too mushy, they talk of real life, of battling the odds and of how love stays as the one constant in life’s journey.

What I love about the book is the unexpectedness, every page you turn brings something new. There is a sharp edge to the poems that somehow gives strength to the feelings of love, a little like a bit of sugar makes the hot food hotter! What I also love is the blend of nature, the sky and the stars and the whole universe with the mundane, the everyday situations, the rough and tumble of life.

There are so many beautiful poems worth a special mention, but some of my favourites are Ensorcelled, Valentine’s Day, Universal Studies, 6 AM, Who Will Be, How Sandy Sings… I am beginning to get to know her, and I love what I am beginning to know!

What I would definitely prefer to see added is a detailed index in the kindle version. What do I do when I want to find a poem again? Going looking back and forth can get a little tedious.

The book is all about being, in the words of the author, “Curled in a smurl of love, You and I…” A book about a love that is strong, beautiful, dreamy, yet grounded in reality, “Against The Night” is something I would love to read at least a second time, and then maybe again!


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