Smoke From This Altar by Louis L’Amour

Copyright 1990
Checked out 11 times in 20 years
Last checked out 1 year ago

Who knew Louis L’Amour’s first book was a book of poetry?! Well, I suspect his fans were aware of it, but I had no idea. Is this great poetry? No, but much of it is good poetry. I enjoyed the natural imagery in it. Land and sea are very palpable here. It’s a shame he didn’t continue to write poetry. Two things I particularly liked about this book were the dedication, which is to someone illiterate. And the other is a poem called “Wail of a Pulpeteer,” bemoaning the disparaging attitude of many toward people who write fiction to bring in an income. There’s also an amusing poem about people mispronouncing his name and the various names he has struggled with himself. For the most, part, however, this is a book about places, as one might expect. There are several sonnets in here and most of the poetry rhymes in some way. Considering both the author, the suggestion of religion in the title, the natural subject matter, and the very accessible, rhyming poems, I’m very surprised this book hasn’t been checked out more often. In any case, it is getting regular circulation and is certainly a keeper.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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