Review of Anthony Logan's Book of Poetry
Words of Gratitude and Love to the Father
Through Jerome Michaux, the director of the Little Brothers organization, I came to know Anthony Logan. As we became better acquainted, I got to know some of the many troubles in his life. His mother was a good person, and he loved her all his life, but she was connected to a man who was not good for her or Anthony. Anthony did well in Catholic school, but later in public school, he lost interest and was nearly failing. Eventually he dropped out. He got involved in life on the street and that led to drugs, criminal behavior and time in prison. There were good times in his life, mostly away from Brooklyn, but when he got back to his usual environment, he fell back into the same destructive pattern. Later in life he had a stroke and was virtually paralyzed, and it was a long road back to getting control of his body and being able to get around and do the things he wanted to do. One of the things he wanted to do was write. He has written various things but his first interest was in writing poetry about his religious awakening.
Anthony has just self-published a book of poems all of which are religious. They might be taken as entries in a diary. Many of them are dated and even give the exact moment when they were completed. One begins, “Lord, today is February 9, 2017” and mentions that it is snowing. At the end of the poem, he writes “Thursday 6:29.” Most of the poems reflect the poet's immediate mood, and they mostly fall into two categories – many are prayers for help and mention the bad feelings Anthony has, and he asks for relief. He often mentions feeling “confused” and “lost.” Sometimes his troubles are more specific. In one poem he writes, “Lord in 2016 I lost my/ mother whom I loved/ and my aunt with whom I was close.” In none of his poems in this booklet does he mention his stroke, but it is no doubt at the root of many of those poems in which he refers to troubles and loss. The other kind of poems are ones of thanks; in many poems he thanks the Lord for taking away his hunger, for giving him all that he needs and wants, for letting him feel at peace. If these two kinds of poems predominate, there are others that are more reflective. In one of these, he points out that happiness is not so much having a lot as valuing what one has. Another poem is about “Getting inside the mind,” by which Logan means coming to an understanding of who one is and what one's potential is. For Logan doing this leads to a feeling of peace and contentment.
The poems, like a diary, are very personal and yet they have given pleasure to others. In participating in the Little Brothers program I have read Anthony's poems to some of the elderly I have visited, just recently Jerome printed up some to be given to the elderly. In my experience the response has always been positive. Anthony writes about his own struggles in life and the successes he has had in expressing himself, but what he writes resonates with others. As Anthony has found this out, I believe it has been a great unexpected source of pleasure for him. Those who would like a copy of his book should write to me: John DeWind, 251 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213, and I will send a copy of Anthony Logan's book of poems of Gratitude and Love.
– John DeWind