The Best of Mr. Henry by NetaQ

  • : Free Verse


  1. Christian Donovan

    Hi Neta,

    That’s a really powerful poem with so many intense images. I love the way you portray the old Mr Henry and his past, and then bring us back (reluctantly) to the here and now. Great stuff.

    Best wishes for enjoying the festive season and I look forward to more of your poems in 2021.

  2. EDamonMitchell

    Haunting and beautiful. My favorite parts:

    cursing his mother’s
    lineage and his father’s
    liquid courage.


    a remembered irony that made him a man,

    I can see Henry, leaning in to speak his words, resolved, thoughtful, reflective.

    A wonderful poem. A character portrait so well done. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Martin

    Hi Neta

    Mr Henry sounds quite a character. You captured the rhythm so well, without rhyme either, which is quite a feat.

    ‘his father’s liquid courage’ is a magical line full of art and substance.

    Thanks for sharing this deep and considered piece.


  4. Kim

    This is beautiful .
    The contrast in how much emotion you conveyed in the telling of the old man’s life experiences versus the callousness and emptiness of the narrators distraction by a single simple phonecall highlights the differences between the two generations – its a hard-hitting punch to the gut.
    Have we lost our empathy and compassion as humans ,distracted by trivial things?
    I found this so profound.

  5. Sharon Hancock

    This was beautiful. The individual phrases all stood on their own to show his life and his experiences. You pack so much into this piece. I feel like you let us into his life and also showed his pride in how he had lived. He made me think of my father and remember him fondly. Poetry is supposed to make us think and reflect, and this was successful on both counts. Thanks for sharing.

    1. NetaQ Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting! This piece was sparked by the losses of so many of our older family members. I was thinking of their absences and the loss to our communities of their collective wisdom.