Heap of Stones is a selection of forty poems from two decades of AE Ballakisten’s poetry, many written while in his twenties. The book opens with a pledge by the poet; that his poetry will always reflect his “true word”. Indeed, the poems have a bold honesty; they are a powerful reflection of the human experience and range in emotions from anger and heartbreak to hope and contentment.
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This certainly happens to Margret Hansen, a young nursery school teacher living in a country town in post-war Germany, but longing for a broader stage upon which to live her life. Her wish seems to come true when, unexpectedly, she falls in love with a wealthy man from out of town. He opens her eyes to a glittering world beyond the drudgery of her provincial lifestyle and the home she shares with her mother and grandmother. But the stars in her eyes turn to tears when she discovers that she has become pregnant. Now she is forced to face herself, to untangle many dilemmas and to make some life-altering decisions.
AE Ballakisten returns with his new anthology of Poems, Talking to a Tree. His debut anthology Heap of Stones garnered plenty of critical praise and public appreciation and Talking to a Tree is already showing signs of following in that tradition.
Talking to a Tree asks the crucial question of mankind through the poems that make up its contents: “Is this really how we want to live?” In a range of voices and poems, the book surveys the state of humanity revealing the themes of conflict and decay. In his words we can clearly see the fear of the poet that we are rapidly eroding our humanity and threatening our already fragile world.