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Local poet publishes first collection of work

IRONTON — As a youth, Dale Cohenour, Jr. used sonnets by William Shakespeare as a means of escape to go into worlds created by the mind and the pen.

One sonnet in particular, “How shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” affected Cohenour in particular with its iambic pentameter rhythms and its ability to take the reader down a variety of different avenues.

Those avenues laid the groundwork for the then 8-year-old Cohenour to start penning poems of his own, poems that tell the story of an eclectic lifestyle, numerous influences and occasional heartbreak.

But it did not start that way for the Ironton resident. Cohenour freely admits one of the main reasons he starting writing poetry as a youth.

“I used it as a means of flirting with girls,” Cohenour said.

Whether that worked or not is up for debate, but one thing it certain. Those poems and the ones Cohenour has written the past 34 years have resulted in a newly published collection titled “In Other Words,” published by AuthorHouse.

“Poems are a way to get out the feelings we are afraid to express otherwise, especially in today’s world,” said Cohenour, who added that the collection was compiled at his wife’s urging.

At 221 pages, “In Other Words” is a compilation of poetry covering topics of life struggles such as friendships, faith, depression, love and loneliness.

In “Silent Victim,” a lyrical poem written in 2007, views domestic violence and battered women from the author’s perspective, Cohenour writes:

“Silent victims are not silent, some loud as heavens might. / Some lay in waiting, praying, long into the night. / Some will never stand up, only sit and cry. / A victim is only silent, when the victim never tries.”

Nearly all the poetry Cohenour writes is done long hand with some coming spur of the moment. Some of his best works have been penned on items like bar napkins and envelopes.

Others have taken the author a little longer to write due to the personal nature of the topic. One such poem is “Vicki,” written about Cohenour’s sister Vicki Patterson who was brutally murdered in Cleveland a decade ago.

“Then one day I fell too ill, called off and went to bed. / Keeping little Vicki’s smile, within my feverish head. / The next day I waited all alone, but Vicki never came. / And then some lady told me of an accident that happened down the lane.”

“In Other Words” is currently available for purchase online at AuthorHouse.com, Amazon.com and Borders.com. Cohenour is also planning to schedule a reading to highlight selections from the book.

And planning is something Cohenour does very well – he is already on his next project, a horror novel.

But whatever Cohenour writes, he knows it is a challenge he accepts.

“Anything I write answers a challenge from my father years ago about wanting me to leave my mark on the world.”