…even when she writes of her displeasure.

Phyllis Binkley does not put up with phoniness or rudeness, and she has no use for much of what’s offered by the modern world. She doesn’t own a computer, doesn’t like television (“Purposes”), pop psychology (“Psychology 101”), or fatuous politicians (“Feet of Clay,” “Job Openings”). War represents for her the worst that mankind has to offer (“Ground Zero Everywhere,” “No Ending,” “To Conquer Evil”). Her poems seem to yearn for simpler times (“Cybernesia”).

But displeasure is less than half the story of The Journals of A.P. O’Clipps, the whimsically named collection of Phyllis Binkley’s poems written between 1991 and 2004. For this is a book about honesty, by a poet who is honestly pleased by much around her. She takes delight in a child’s discovery (“Archimedes”). She relishes in landscape (“Destinations”), and even appreciates the sometimes cruel beauty of nature (“Happy…”).

Binkley is a passionate poet, particularly about human nature and the nature of human relationships. She writes of love and friendship (“Reappraisal”), and of loss (“Dawn to Dusk”), grief (“Half Mast”), aging and death (“Death on Hold,” “Time”).

Phyllis Binkley clearly enjoys writing. She is comfortable with free verse, but she’s equally accomplished as a formalist poet, a sonneteer. Some of her poems are downright funny (“Economies of Scale”) and she takes pleasure in subtle puns (“Chauvinism,” “For My Nieces and Nephews”). Serious or light-hearted, formal or free, Phyllis Binkley takes pleasure in her writing, and that’s fortunate for the rest of us, who take pleasure in reading her poems.

About the Author
Phyllis Binkley graduated from Cornell University before working as an assistant editor for Prentice-Hall’s college textbook division. She subsequently worked in market research and then became a partner in a retail store, Landmark Gifts. She has also worked, as assistant vice president, for Factory Point National Bank, and she served as trustee for Manchester Health Services and Dorset Nursing Association. She is now a freelance business assistant in Dorset, Vermont.


The Journals of A.P. O'Clipps
compiled by Phyllis Binkley
ISBN 1-56474-463-9
128 pages, paperback, $14.00

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