Harder & Hearter by William Sites

In this book of poetry, Mr. Sites processes the events of his life and provides advice for how readers should interact with others and with the world. There is no author bio, but from the poems, I assume that Mr. Sites is a man in his sixties.

The first section, “Harder,” focuses on processing his father’s death, a dysfunctional marriage, his disillusionment with the world in general, and a soul-wearying job. He offers a lot of advice on how readers should live their lives, but it’s unclear as to why readers should be modeling their lives after the author.

The second section, “And,” transitions into some more sensory imagery, which I appreciated after the didactic tone of the first section. 

The third section, “Hearter,” includes nature poems and light-hearted poems. There is a lot of repetition about coffee, mowing the lawn, and the author’s dog. 

I felt that the poems were fairly unedited and could have been condensed into just a few poems: one about his dad, one about his first marriage, one about his relationship with work, and one about relaxation and his relationship with nature. 

I was not interested in reading the nightly musings of an ordinary sixty-year-old man. There can be something magical about daily life, but because the poetry is basically just a rhyming journal, there is nothing that makes the author’s experiences stand out. 

Because the poetry did not really capture my interest or reach my heart, I give this book two stars. 

I received a copy of this book for free, and I am providing this review voluntarily. 

Originally posted on Literature Approved

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