The focus of the collection, and its title, are not particularly obvious. However, one recurring character throughout the poems is Theodore. According to Natalie Williams “Theodore is true love’s fight to discover itself, and in some ways is undiscovered. It is an ideal that becomes tainted by experience but then matured by it.” Many of the poems use the word Theodore in different contexts and forms. For example “Theodored” is used as a verb, as in “You Theodored me.” In other poems “Theodore” is used as a noun or even an adjective.
The second major concept throughout the poetry collection is “November.” In her foreword Natalie Williams explains “November, to me, is a middle time between some place, between winter, summer and autumn; a metaphor for an Eden, and undiscovered country.” Much of “Theodore in November” is about love as journey, and a development that changes over time. In “Theodore in November” love is never completed experience. It is always in the middle, always wanting more and growing stronger and closer.
The poetry in “Theodore in November” has a style very different from that which I usually enjoy. Many of the lines are very short and terse, and although this allows better emphasis on some key words, it also breaks up the flow. Personally I like poetry that my eye can flow through very smoothly, and the constant line breaks in “Theodore in November” make me stop again and again to move down the page. However, “Theodore in November” stands true to Natalie Williams personal style, and in that regard I’m sure that many people enjoy poetry with short lines. My enjoyment of poems with longer lines is simply personal preference.
In “Theodore in November” Natalie William’s take on love is fresh, as if she has purposely avoided the all too common poetic cliches about love. I enjoyed some of the vivid word pictures that are scattered through her poems like flowers in a field of grass.
Overall, I would say that “Theodore in November” is a decent collection of poetry, and I’m sure that most readers will enjoy it.