An older man, living in a retirement home, muses on life, old age, his friends, and his memories in prose and poetry.
Americo Petrocelli, a retired scientist and a widower, moved into the StoneRidge retirement community at age 84. Finding himself full of memories, observations of the new friends and new environment around him, and amusing and thoughtful perspectives on life, he felt inclined to write these things down. And so he did – and THE MAGIC TABLE is the result. It is a collection of short prose and poetry, covering topics including his own biography and his friends’, politics, science, pets, and many others.
Petrocelli is an intelligent man with a wide range of experience and a gift for observation. He has the poet’s ability to take a small and seemingly-everyday thing, like two old men conversing while feeding a squirrel, or an attack of the common cold, and find in it deep meaning, or else bright amusement. He is willing to follow his vivid and mischievous imagination wherever it leads, to a conversation with a crow or an extension of string theory to human love. He includes a collection of odes to a group of friends who meet daily at the titular Magic Table at the pub, written for their birthdays, pointing out the depth and diversity of their histories and personalities. His poems do have a tendency to overtly explain themselves a bit too much, and many of them could be improved by cutting out the line or two of explanation he tends to put at the end- for example, “The magic it seems is not in the wooden table/But in the people that sit at it each and every morn” – and letting the impression the poem makes stand on its own.
THE MAGIC TABLE includes insight, wisdom, humor and deep feeling in the course of a sequence of short, lively, and very readable poems and prose pieces.