“The Orphanage” By William Heyen

“The Orphanage” By William Heyen

“The Orphanage” By William Heyen

The poems in this new book are scherzi.

Amazon USA      

“The Orphanage”

By William Heyen

217 pages

ISBN: 978-81-8253-938-9

Cyberwit, Copyright 2022


Review by LB Sedlacek


The poems in this new book are scherzi.  There are 3000 of them in the book.  The author calls them muse poems written in 13 syllables.  This book is reminiscent of the award winning poetry book “Field Study” by Chet’la Sebree that I just read.  It takes courage and skill to write in a short form for poetry.  But you can say so much in a small amount of words, sometimes more than in a very lengthy poem.


To be more specific “scherzo is a titled 13-syllable couplet, often end-rhymed, with a shorter second line.”  William Heyen is considered to be foremost practitioner of writing them.


There is a smorgasbord of subjects covered in Heyen’s lines.  Some things that come up, among others,:  baseball, Eden, time, poetry, ice cream, language, singing, dreams, Egypt, vampires, childhood, corn, football, casinos, love, inspiration, peace, religion and muses. 


The nice thing about a poetry book such as this is it’s a terrific introduction to poetry for people who don’t normally read it.  It’s also a good way to get your poetry fix if you’re pressed for reading time.  Sometimes people who don’t like to be immersed in poetry can better absorb it in small doses as presented on these pages. 


Generally the poems are contained in 1 or 2 lines.  But, some of them are a bit longer with several verses loosely joined in theme.


From the poem “Nutso”:
“I rode to town with some insane people,” /
writes Waldo— /
“the worst of such company is that they al- /
ways bite”


From the poem “Influence”:

“The calm to look for is the calm at /
the whirlwind’s heart”—


From the poem “O City, city”:

“T.S. Eliot said his Waste Land /
was “just a piece //
“of rhythmical grumbling.” Shantih! /
I can understand,”

Heyen creates an aura around his poems.  The reader can easily immerse themselves into his poetical world.  The poems express their own rhythms of genius. 


He awakens the senses.  He gives each one of his scherzo’s its own voice and that is very unique indeed.



~LB Sedlacek’s latest poetry book is “Ghost Policy.”  She is also the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “Swim,” “Words and Bones,” and “The Poet Next Door.”  Her non-fiction books include “The Poet Protection Plan,” “The Traveling Postcard,” “Bridge Ices Before Road,” and “Electric Melt.”  Her short story collections are entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories” and “The Jackalope Committee & Other Tales.”  www.lbsedlacek.com