Lasting, Leaving, Left by Robin Dyke
Publisher: Promontory Press (November 3, 2015)

Every experience is a brush stroke on our life’s canvas. When our life ends, the artwork is completed; what will we leave behind for the world to see? Robin Dyke’s collection of poetry Lasting, Leaving, Left penetrates the deeper questions of what it means to live: Will I make a lasting impression on the world? How has the world made a lasting impression on me?

Dyke’s works are the perfect balance of poetic eloquence with modern language. Lasting, Leaving, Left will engage and inspire poets and non-poets who seek to reflect and question their lives.

Dyke’s book is organized into three sections: Lasting, Leaving, and Left. The first section, Lasting, groups together poetry focused on memories or concepts that have emotionally influenced each poem’s speaker. Such ideas ranged from recollections of a deceased grandfather, to the relationship between war and humanity.  

The next section, Leaving, discusses the different stages people go through in their lives. One of the most unique poems I found in this section described a person playing a pinball game. The individual goes through several strategies to win the game, but once it is over, a new game begins. As time passes, we constantly leave one moment to enter another.

The last section of the book, Left, introduces the notion of what people have left behind when they are gone. The final poems of this collection leave the reader to question him or herself about how they live their lives. With every poem, the speaker is thoughtful and gently pushes the reader to contemplate such profound questions.

While the poetry incorporated numerous literary devices, the level of diction is perfect for readers who are not die-hard poetry lovers. Dyke’s poems are inviting to read, but they still leave the audience with wonder and opportunity to reflect upon their own life experiences.

Nonetheless, poetry fanatics will appreciate the simple, yet thought-provoking ideas Dyke presents. Pretentious vocabulary would only overshadow the rich and naked moments of life that his poetry illustrates.

Lasting, Leaving, Left allows individuals to find themselves reflected in poetry and use it as a lens to look into their own way of living. Readers can relate to the moments when they have endured losing a loved one, felt true love, or wondered where their life is going. Poetry is intended to connect us with the different facets of humanity. It is a vital form of expression that brings awareness to our intellectual and emotional selves.

Dyke calls himself an “imagined dream caster” and that “poetry is a new expression of his work as a consultant and educator.” The final notes by Dyke point out that with the three Ls of this book, there is one final L to consider: Living. Through every leg of life’s journey, we need to embrace each moment to the fullest.

Dyke’s poetry offered me a different perspective of living; life is a fluid cycle that is beautiful in the pain and pleasure it brings. Lasting, Leaving, Left is a poetically pristine read for individuals searching for another viewpoint on how they live their lives, with a dash of alliteration and rhyme.