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Haiku Journal Issue #41
The Impressionist Painter by Alan Humason
Alan Humason’s poetry examines the lives of ordinary people through a narrative exploration of every day events—dating, doing work, driving home, walking outdoors, loving—knowing that honest epiphanies can spring from the most modest of pastimes and contacts. He aims to be insightful and empathetic about the human condition in clear, vivid, evocative language. Taking an observant story-teller’s point of view, rarely writing in the first person, Humason quickly crafts engaging tales that pulse with character, a sense of place, and deeper meanings.
The poems in this collection span four decades of work by the author. Taking a cue from the title piece, each poem here is a kind of painting, each visually based while evoking all the senses and a visceral, gut-level response. Along with their immediacy, these poems also look to pose certain questions: How do we reconcile our drives and desires with our shortcomings? How do we find peace—if we ever can? How do we interpret what we see and feel, and where can that lead us? At times the answers are abundantly clear; other times, they remain mysteries too elusive to unravel.
The poems are also distinguished by their directness and brevity, with a simplicity of line that carries the reader steadily forward to the end—inviting, not demanding, a second, immersive read.
The 18 poems of “The Impressionist Painter” create a heartfelt, brave, and thought-provoking collection, informed by raw experience, and shot through with care, longing, and hope.
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