To Talk of Many Things: Selected Poems
by Richard Greene
239 poems, 262 pages
Price: $15.00
Publisher: Amazon
ISBN: 978-0-6453437-6-2
To Order: Amazon


A selection of the best poems among over a thousand the author has written. Unlike much of contemporary poetry Greene doesn’t seek to challenge the reader with difficulties of interpretation. He is also doesn’t seek to be clever, but rather to capture his experience and evoke it for others. If that’s done well, it results in clever descriptions and metaphors, but Greene’s aim is to communicate rather than to impress.


Once I started reading these down-to-earth creations by Richard Greene, I realized that his latest project, To Talk of Many Things: Selected Poems, is titled exactly right. Indeed, this volume does “talk of many things.” Greene touches, with astonishing acuity, life’s ordinary things. From a five-year-old boy catching his first fish, to college students sitting in the grass on the first warm day in spring, to the delights of snow in old age . . . this volume is a captivating gem.
–Michael Escoubas, author of Monet In Poetry and Paint.

What I like best about Richard Greene’s Selected Poems is that he hates being taken for granted. So do I. Greene’s poetry is full of unexpected turns of phrase. He espouses wisdom, is plain-spoken and speaks to people where they live. I feel as if Richard Greene knows me.
–Sharmagne Leland-St. John, author of The Trip, an illustrated book for children


Richard Greene became interested in poetry when he was eight years old after chancing upon Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse.” In the 8th grade he began writing poetry and continued in college where one of his professors, who used drafts of Greene’s poems for class exercises, was Henry Rago, who later became editor of Poetry magazine. After attending graduate school, Greene began a 38-year career in international development during which he wrote little poetry, to resume only after retiring during which time most of his poems were written.


Seeing Water

by Richard Greene

Even now, in my sixty-eighth year,
I still experience a thrill
when rounding a curve
or topping a hill
I come upon a body of water,
whether festive blue
or sullen gray,
open to view
or half hidden by trees.
Even a small lake
I pass almost every day
still surprises me
with a pulse of pleasure.
It summons up, I suppose,
the lake where I spent
my childhood summers,
its mile-wide waters
abloom with sails,
where I fished
as day segued into night
and gold streaked
the sky’s book of hours,

the remote Canadian lakes
where I basked in a solitude
broken only by the lonely cry of loons,
moose grazing in the shallows
or the occasional band of Cree
in their quiet canoes,
gathering wild rice,
and overhead at night
the sky-spanning, pulsating
polychrome curtain
of the aurora,

or the Hudson
where I whiled away my time
watching ships slide languorously by,
the slow kaleidoscope
of clouds and sky
over the Jersey bank,
or seagulls
gliding against the towering Palisades
so steady on their wings
the world seemed to move
while they stood still,
and in the background always
the tremendous harp of the bridge
gracing the river’s canyon
as it might the very gates of heaven.

Then there’s the Pacific
which, more precocious than Balboa,
I first saw at age six,
having come from the east
with my grandmother
who, indulging me,
drove straight to the water,
not even stopping
at our new home.
It was overcast that day
and I was disappointed
that the great ocean
wasn’t the least bit blue.
Still, it was the Pacific,
spreading all the way
from California to Cathay
with a leap
only the imagination could equal.

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