49 Aspects of Human Emotion

"Nothing escapes this poet’s searching consciousness as he masterfully weaves natural landscapes with romantic love, history, and religion. From the rugged desert terrain of California to an East Coast backyard, from caterpillar to coneflower to cloud, Toltzis never pretends to understand all of nature’s mysteries, but captures them, as if under glass, so we can turn them in the light.”

Carole Bernstein, Familiar

 

 

“Toltzis embarks on melodic forays into the natural world enlivened with a rich, almost quiet sense of humanity and soul. The poet’s work, spanning seven virtue-themed sections, is a master-class of refined craft. . .  it serves as a humble meditation on life itself, with concise, compelling pieces that are expertly placed, paced, and brimming with charming language and naturalistic scenery. 

Erric Emerson, Counting Days

 
The Last Commandment

"I read the poems through, and was impressed : by the cleanness of thought and the live language; the language mannered, but at the service of the meaning; all adding up."

Thomas Kinsella, Poet

 

"At once intensely personal and uniquely spiritual, this book of poems is a must for the bookshelf and for anyone with a taste for the spiritually poetic."

Chris McClelland, The Provo Canyon Review

 

"Alan Toltzis’s work offers a skewed perspective, redefines the parameters of truth whether through following a vision of Spirit on Mars and then drawing us unexpectedly back home (“140,000 Miles Away”), or through seeing Noah as the modern Everyman balancing “everyday sorrow” with the need to be some kind of hero (“Noah”), or through imagining the way a birch tree strangely interacts with azalea stems may lead one similarly, incrementally as it were, from the cold roots of the crape myrtle to some notion of cherry trees in a Californian spring (“Scale”). It is the work of art to make these leaps of imagination, and this is clearly something that Alan’s work does."

Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith, Red Wolf Literary Journal

"Toltzis' work is a powerful reminder of the potential for poetry to connect us to worlds beyond our own experience. He brings the reader into the ancient text of the Torah by a circuitous route: the path of ordinary life. Old words trigger vivid memories, treasured vignettes, and vibrant images. Toltzis is a careful reader of the Torah, and his poetry serves as insightful commentary for the modern age."

Rabbi Benjamin Adler, Adath Israel Congregation

The last commandment in the Torah is, "Write for yourselves this song." Alan hears the melody of Torah in a unique way. The poem, “Love’s Calling” examines the nature of love in the details of ancient rituals. “The Kindness of the Stork” meditates on a single word to explore writing and its challenges. The poems in The Last Commandment show how the soul and creativity combine to  to uncover the author’s sweet melody in the words of Torah."

Rabbi Yehuda Shemtov, Director, Luvabitch of Bucks County

 

"Toltzis' work is a powerful reminder of the potential for poetry to connect us to worlds beyond our own experience. He brings the reader into the ancient text of the Torah by a circuitous route: the path of ordinary life. Old words trigger vivid memories, treasured vignettes, and vibrant images. Toltzis is a careful reader of the Torah, and his poetry serves as insightful commentary for the modern age."

Rabbi Benjamin Adler, Adath Israel Congregation

"The last commandment in the Torah is, "Write for yourselves this song." Alan hears the melody of Torah in a unique way. The poem, “Love’s Calling” examines the nature of love in the details of ancient rituals. “The Kindness of the Stork” meditates on a single word to explore writing and its challenges. The poems in The Last Commandment show how the soul and creativity combine to  to uncover the author’s sweet melody in the words of Torah."

Rabbi Yehuda Shemtov, Director, Luvabitch of Bucks County

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© 2018 by Alan Toltzis.