Who would’ve thought the author of suspenseful, sometimes gory thrillers could come up with such beautiful poetry? Well, anyone who knows William Bernhardt. I first met him ten years ago, and can say he’s helped me more with my own writing than any single individual. I’ve spent enough time around him to know he’s a real softie. I mean, when he talks about his three kids (who he raised single-handedly) his eyes will actually tear up. That’s how much he loves them.
So it should come as no surprise that his poetry is sweet and poignant, as well as thought-provoking. His first collection of poetry,The White Bird, was published in 2013. I found it to be delightful and whimsical. His recently published second collection, The Ocean’s Edge, is equally entertaining as well as thought-provoking. The poems are short, with titles like The Housewife, Favorite Christmas, Ralph’s Favorite Painting, and Madeline at the Mall. In them, Bernhardt examines snippets of everyday life. In other poems, such as The Night of 9/11, he remembers historical moments that changed the world for all of us.
In my first encounter with William Bernhardt he said something that stuck with me. “Books remind us that we are more alike than different.” His poetry does exactly this.