Hip Pocket Press (2014)
Reviewed by Tammy Petty Conrad for Reader Views (5/16)
I would like to be the woman whose romance is carefully captured in this poetry collection. The poet loves her so deeply and understands her completely. “A Portrait of a Romance” by Charles Entrekin is for anyone who has been in love or wants to be. The author has eloquently shared his soul with his lover and his readers. He takes us from the beginning of the romance all the way through to its continuing selfless love when she is 66 years old. Each poem builds on the previous one as the story unfolds of a love that was meant to be.
I devoured this treat in one afternoon because I was intrigued from the start. I could relate to the woman who had many lives, and many lovers, but at one point finds that “Sitting in a dark closet, alone, seemed appropriate.” Our poet then takes the stage. He reminds me what it is like to be in a new relationship and he makes me yearn for that experience, just one more time:
“We are crossing barbed wire
Leaving childhood behind…
And we are new
In beginning the pleasures
Of our being alone, together.”
Charles has not just idolized her, instead, he’s made his wife into a three-dimensional person on the page that we can relate to. We would want to drink a glass of wine with her and swap stories of our younger days.
The inclusion of quotes from Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, breaks up each section and the free verse style makes it contemporary. I would love to receive a tribute like this and I will reread it when I start to forget what true love is. I highly recommend “Portrait of a Romance” by Charles Entrekin as a quick, but wonderful read. You will get to know this couple and recognize them as one you might see on a Sunday afternoon, walking hand in hand, stopping occasionally to look into each other’s eyes and laughing at each other’s jokes.