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SOUNDINGS, the second book of poetry by Michael Frederick Clark published by AuthorHouse, takes the reader on a journey beneath the surface of the "ocean of life." Whether a comparatively brief dip is undertaken, or a more extended plunge, each of the poems in this volume is a "sounding out" of meaning, especially those meanings that lead towards hope. Rarities abound in this elusive and often strange and tumultuous "undersea" world of the mind and the heart, as do compelling stories that range from the uplifting and ethereal to the heinous and unspeakable. Such is the rich and unlimited diversity of the "human sea" where monsters live side by side with saints, where ugliness is frequently found in close proximity to beauty and grace. The formatting of this volume makes for easy and enjoyable reading. Following the linkage idea of oceanic and human life the poems are located under headings such as "Coral Reefs" and "Cataclysmic," etc. As suggested above, variety is the hallmark of this book thematically, with themes ranging from the devastation of warfare to interpersonal relationships, agedness, and estrangement as well as others exploring the arts, various aspects of nature and the higher realms of the human spirit. Readers too who look for diversity in their poetic forms will find it in this collection, including a number of poems, rare in our times perhaps, which could be classified as extended meditations. Lightness of heart, sorrow for any number of shortfalls, celebration of the human spirit, moral indignation, critical incisiveness, admiration and high praise - all are present in this little volume and are offered by the poet for the reader's pleasure and enlightenment.