by Larry Powell
At first, I thought I had made a mistake - agreeing to review “Of Poets & Pioneers.”
After all, I’m no poet!
The last “poetic gene” in my family seems to have died when my own Grandfather, J.J. Powell passed away in 1953.
But I was soon to discover, one doesn’t need a “poet’s pedigree” to appreciate the values which this work embraces.
Poetry just happens to be the backdrop - a vehicle, if you will - that offers a glimpse into a rare and remarkably close relationship between the author, Bill Massey and his paternal grandfather, “Will.”
Bill’s earlier book, “Of Pork and Potatoes,” details the troubled home he grew up in and helps us better understand why his visits with his grandfather, recorded in this one, provided such a precious haven in his own life.
Woven between the poetic parts are stories “Grandfather Will” wrote about a sometimes harsh life in a British public school and later about the trials and tribulations he faced as a pioneering farmer in Manitoba.
Bill’s own stories and poetry only add to the book’s appeal.
If there were ever to be a literary contest with a “Labour of Love” category, “Of Poets & Pioneers” would definitely be a contender!