Leda by J. R. Solonche


In Leda, his thirty-first poetry collection, J.R. Solonche once again proves that he has not lost his wit, insight, playfulness, honesty, and empathy. William Carlos Williams once said that “if it ain’t a pleasure, it ain’t a poem.” So once again pleasure after pleasure in the form of poem after poem in page after page here await the reader. In the words of Kirkus Reviews, “Solonche, an accomplished poet, employs various forms… including haiku, prose poem, and free verse. The poems often imaginatively enter into the natural or material world via anthropomorphic similes… Many works have an aphoristic quality that recall Zen koans, and they can be playfully amusing or even silly… A strong set of sympathetic but never sentimental observations.”


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 124
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May, 2023 
  • ISBN: 978-1-953252-77-7


“Solonche is productive and prolific, but that doesn’t water down his poetry… He can compress a philosophical treatise into three lines… His epigrammatic tidy poems are philosophic gems. Solonche sees humor and encapsulates it; he frames a thought in perfect verse… He’s playful and profound — the more he writes, the more he seems to know. Beneath the Solonche simplicity are significant social comments, and his goodwill reinforces the best in us.” —Grace Cavalieri

“J.R.Solonche’s many books of poetry, one nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, reveal a wry and vivid wit, a sharp but sympathetic eye, and a respect for the homely but significant detail, all wedded to an acute social and cultural consciousness.  In his imaginative progress through city streets and country roads, the commonplace becomes the extraordinary… In lines full of mischief or romance, gaiety or grief, he is the poet of the every day, spent on earth or in an imaginary heaven.” —Judith Farr

“The history of book blurbs is littered with high falutin’ praise, whacky and wild metaphors, written to impress not to inform. All I need to say about J.R. Solonche’s poems is that they are good, really, really good. So much so that they have a high “I-wish-I’d-written-that” factor. That’s a compliment I hand out to very few poets writing today. You want wit? You want humor? You want erudition? You want them all mixed into poems? Try Solonche. You won’t be disappointed. Envious perhaps, but not disappointed.” —John Murphy



The tree crew is trimming a large oak.
Take off that one, the boss on the ground says.
What for? It looks all right, says the trimmer in the cherry picker.
I don’t like the looks of it. Take it off, says the boss on the ground.
But the one above it on this side is really bad, says the trimmer in the cherry picker.
No, no, that’s not a problem. Do what I said, says the boss on the ground.
You’re wrong, boss. You’re making a mistake, says the trimmer in the cherry picker.
Okay, okay, take ‘em both off, says the boss on the ground.
You got it, boss, says the trimmer in the cherry picker.
Jesus, why can’t all the world’s problems be solved so easily?


Nominated for the National Book Award and twice-nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, J.R. Solonche is the author of thirty books of poetry and coauthor of another. He lives in the Hudson Valley.

Additional information

Weight 8.3 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .375 in