Paul Mount's "Folly Beach Love Story" is a fully realized cycle of poems and essays that describe his voyage to Folly Beach, SC, and his voyage through a cataclysmic year. He obviously stepped away from everything known into a new world, at the edge of America. During that year, he explored not only the beauty and challenge of his new surroundings but also the beauty and challenge of a new understanding of his emotional life.
Paul's poems are tiny masterworks. Although a great deal of emotion flows, the poems are never "clotted" with show-offy imagery. Every image is earned. Every emotion is earned. The poet's transitions during the year on Folly are described poignantly but with humor and clarity. I saw a clear connection between his acquiring knowledge and love for Folly Beach and for his new appreciation for emotional events, past and current.
Instead of being, "These are the poems I wrote that first year," this collection is "This is how I re-learned how to fall in love." Although site-specific, many of Paul's insights can be transferred to other experiences in the reader's life, clarifying those as well.
I know Paul will continue to refine and hone his writing skills. Thoroughly enjoyed his first book!
"Tango Girls" maps the continued growth of Paul Mount's talent as a poet. With new discipline and focus, Mount continues to track the development of the human heart. His themes have coalesced around loss and joy, which may seem to be opposites but which are, in fact, two faces of the same image. He's left me with unforgettable images and I continue to see ghosts of his characters slipping around the corner. I recommend this book to all lovers of beautiful sounds and deep emotions.