The Lament captures the full range of emotion that whirl around human relationships. Here are dozens of poems examining the profound joy of those deeply in love, the incredible longing of the separated partner, the intense loneliness of modern working life, and – above all – the indisputable necessity of connecting with people around us. Poet Ercell H. Hoffman casts a penetrating gaze on our everyday emotions, revealing our extraordinary capacity for feeling, empathy, and love.
In “Lost to the Moment,” the speaker relishes the irreplaceable first blush of fledgling love that sweeps through her body “like a cool summer breeze.” “This Afternoon” explores the painful possibilities of a love that might have been – that “I knew could not blossom.” “Stay Heart Stay” is about the undying fire for another that refuses to be extinguished despite considerable hurdles. Meanwhile, other poems examine relationships in the contemporary workplace, revealing a deeply unsatisfying existence: “The Factory” looks at the peculiarly disconnected relationships among underappreciated factory workers, while “On the JOB” tackles the boredom of a career that’s anything but busy.
Chock full of penetrating insights into the heart, The Lament is about our most basic needs: finding and keeping love and obeying your inner truth.
I tend to approach books of poetry with a bit of trepidation, knowing that the poet’s soul lies bare within the pages of their collections. I wasn’t sure what I would find in The Lament or how I would write a positive review if I didn’t enjoy or relate to the work. But I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised with this author. The Lament (Selected Poems and Prose) is insightful; beautiful and emotional; intense yet humble. Ercell H. Hoffman understands the human condition and is able to put into words the feelings most of us are unable to articulate. I especially liked The Birth of a Poem. I will proudly keep this volume alongside more prominent poets. If you enjoy poetry, I highly recommend The Lament.
“Shine on bright should of un-dauntless courage
for in the light you see
those who have fallen along the side
in swollen rivers of grief.
And seeing light gives hope
To weaklings who have fallen…Like me.”
– Untitled, Ercell Hoffman
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“But to touch and to love the feel
to break that invisible shield
to witness the joy and pain
that learning love always brings
is the true beginning from which self-insight springs.”
– I Fall in Love Too Easily, Ercell Hoffman
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“Readers will be taken in for a wonderful ride with the Lament: Selected Poems and Prose. Hoffman skillfully weaves her experiences, thoughts, and feelings into every work she writes in each poem and prose. Matters concerning the heart, feelings, and musings have a special kind of appeal to readers. Written in a candid simple and relatable manner, readers will find a re-emerging interest in poems. Imagination and creativity will spur the readers to read more and more and get to see the feelings and expressions by the author in a more vivid way.”