Contemplating life inside and out, author and poet Brad McElroy writes an immensely thoughtful book called Emergence: A Collection of Poems. In this book, McElroy shares his experience of life and the thoughts and feelings that come with it.
Some poems are based on how one interacts with others. These poems express how one responds to the realities set by life. The first poem of this collection, “Almost as Well,” speaks about the standards of society and what we have been conditioned as the yardsticks of success. McElroy writes about how these expectations limit one’s creativity.
Many of McElroy’s work contemplates how one interacts with life. They are based on free-flowing thoughts. In a piece called “Survival,” McElroy describes a mind that is facing what it interprets as the worst circumstance. It observes what the mind perceives flows through the body until the whole being is consumed with it. “Survival” explores what a consciousness goes through when it is faced with the choice of whether to give up or press on. After this choice is established, it continues to say, “In order to move on, the mind must promise itself that life in life’s terms is a better alternative than suicide. To do this is to have hope that one can appreciate the future, heal the present, and forgive the past.” In this work and others that are as introspective as this, McElroy mirrors the attitude of the mind in that it can go to darker spaces, but it can also conjure hope.
Through his poetry, he expresses his reflections on joy, pain, and creativity. Emergence offers a perspective to its readers that goes further than the surface. It dissects life, the experiences that transpire within as well as the undertaking that we participate in with others and transforms it into words that resonate.