ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Magician of Wrigley Street: A Book Review

Updated on September 5, 2017

The Vitals

Author: Craig A. Hart

Pages: 71

2013, Sweatshoppe Publications


Readability/entertainment value: 19/20

Educational value: 6/10

Writing/Editing 9/10

Total: 34/40

The author, Craig A. Hart
The author, Craig A. Hart | Source

The Next Billy Collins?

Maybe poetry can be simple. Maybe it can use words that everyone uses. Words that don’t require a thesaurus. Perhaps the reason most poets starve to death is because they try just a little bit too hard.

Poetry does not have to be this big, scary, indecipherable thing. It doesn’t have to be Whitman, or Ginsberg, or even Frost. Nope. It can be US Poet Laureate Billy Collins. Americans love Billy. Why? Because he takes the mundane, the simple, the relatable, and introduces them to us in a new and interesting way. He is not typically verbose or grandiose. He is simple, plain, accessible. That’s why we love him. There is no pretense.

And that’s why “The Magician of Wrigley Street”, a collection of poems from Craig A. Hart published all the way back in 2013, is so wonderful. Mr. Hart takes things as simple as singing in the shower, random encounters, the loss of virginity, and even sandwiches to whole new levels. These poems are simple, yet have a depth, sincerity and exquisiteness to them that makes them accessible to the every man. More than that, even those who are not fans of poetry will be able to relate to the simple concepts and simple language.

One of the more endearing qualities in Hart’s poetry is the self-deprecation. Like Mr. Collins, Hart pokes fun at himself, at human nature, at conventional wisdom, at the common cold, at the weather, and even at poetry itself. This is serious poetry that does not take itself too seriously.

But, don’t mistake this lightheartedness, the fun read, and the simple language for being callow, obtuse, vapid, or any other manner of fancy words to describe shallowness and lack of meaning. Don’t take it to mean that these poems are not thoughtful or well written. Beneath the simple words are layers of meaning, complex ideas and important messages. Hart’s poetry holds within it a germ of depth, an understated girth of importance, a love of words, and rapacious pontifications.

But, all that aside, the words I’m using to describe the work, are more obscure than the words found in of any poems you will find within the work. The poetry is fun to read, insightful, and easy to understand. Like many collections, you can pick it up and read a poem or two, to be considered in part, or read from cover to cover (a compact seventy pages) and consider the entirety of the work.

In the four years since this collection was publication, Craig A. Hart has gone on to show himself to be a prolific writer, from suspense to general fiction. Like all poets should and like all good poets do, Hart has a love for words and language and it shines in this little collection. It may not be breaking any new ground, but I don’t think it is trying too. It’s simply a fun and enjoyable read with plenty of clever turns of phrase and, like the shelf of a lake, an unexpected depth.

Besides, what’s the point of writing good poetry if no one reads it?

Craig Hart reads some selections from the book


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)