“Day, Door and Soul” by George Epstein, Review – Amusing, Healing, Inspiring

Recently, a beautiful book of poetry has come to my attention.  The book, Day, Door and Soul by George Epstein is an extensive and powerful collection of poems that could easily have been lost.  Readers now have the benefit of years of work by George’s widow, Laurie, who discovered poems she didn’t know existed, until after George’s untimely death.  She found them still in his computer and mailed to friends.


Just looking at the cover, one can feel the love that was poured into this collection.  The cover depicts George lost in thought, walking through the snow on a college campus. George was a kind and loving person.  He was a poet but he also had mathematical talents that he shared with the world.


George’s poems draw the reader into his shoes.  The poems incorporate language, which is relatable, with concepts that are abstract and emotional. Reading the poems, one learns of George’s friends, of his relationship to the synagogue and prayer, his love for his family and awe when his children and grandchildren arrived. He talks about family members, his father, uncles, a beautiful poem to his wife.The poems vary in length and format and are never predictable. They always grab the reader’s attention.


The book has an introduction by J. Kent Clark, professor emeritus California Institute of Technology and commentary throughout by Janet M. Ver, Ph.D., University of Phoenix, which offer helpful insights.


From the publisher iUniverse website

“His collection is intended for those who are aware of the spiritual journey of life and for those who seek to unravel the mysteries of life through developing a deeper understanding of self. Epstein weaves imagery within his words to paint pictures that inspire and inform. Even through daily encounters, the greatness of life speaks in the mundane. Even a small ant on a beach has meaning.”


An example of his poetry, “The Poet” begins:


The Poet

is an educator

who lives in a world

about which the poet writes,

using words

to tell about the world,

the real world,

which remains a puzzle

to himself or herself

as much as

to anyone else.


Or this charming observation:


The Last Page

Of this book

is blank for a reason:

I have a friend, Max Gimple,

who likes to doodle.


I had the chance to talk with a friend of George’s who grew up with him and had a friendship of fifty years.  George was one of four Jewish boys who grew up within blocks of one another, went to elementary school, junior high, high school and Cal Tech together before parting company. George is remembered as a kind, gentle, insightful person.  His poetry proves that.


At a time of personal sadness, I chose to read selected poems aloud to a group.  They took on even greater meaning and had the power similar to prayer in their ability to calm and heal.  It is good to have this book nearby; to amuse, to heal, to inspire.


The book is available on Amazon or from the publisher

Photo: Cover -Vicki Buckner

Family photo: Courtesy of Laurie Epstein


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