The Humbling and Other Poems


By Robert J. Tiess

cover image of The Humbling and Other Poems

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This inspired debut poetry collection, which was featured as an "Editor's Pick" in the June 20, 2022 issue of Publishers Weekly, features over 100 memorable poems on humility, love, truth, peace, time, redemption, and hope.

Longtime fans of Robert's poetry will be elated to find Obsidian with Sheens of Gold, Interior Kingdom, The Song of Walt Is Our Song, Amid the Jersey Turnpike Whales, Love's Special Relativity, Tao, Withstanding, the Phoenix poems, and other favorites included here along with new works.

New fans quickly discover Robert's poetry spans an ever-expanding array of topics and styles.

As part of Robert's ongoing efforts to promote accessibility in poetry, he has included a glossary of poetry terms, reading suggestions, three brief essays, an author biography, and more in his book.

You can follow Robert on Twitter, Instagram, or AllPoetry, where he frequently posts new poems and participates in poetry challenges.

All of these websites can be reached through his official website


"Tiess's striking debut may prioritize insights on humility, but don't mistake it for a humble affair. In inviting, wide-ranging poems, kicking off with a celebration of 'the paradox of Socrates' and a promise 'to understand I do not know, / and yet enlighten as I go,' The Humbling probes at the world in gently insistent verse.... Tiess admires most what's clear and what's enduring, relishing how deer 'face elements with fortitude,' or marveling at how 'marble hands / ten fingers firmly interlocked' persist after centuries in a ruin. With the uncommon directness that is the hallmark of his work, he urges humanity itself to take steps to persist as well, calling for the crafting of 'an ark of love to save / our good world from an open grave.' Endmatter including essays and a glossary of poetic terms makes explicit what readers will infer throughout: The accessibility of Tiess's poems is the result of careful craft, a zeal to express complex thoughts that sing yet also communicate. 'On the yards of my poems,' he writes in one essay, 'I did not want any 'Keep Out' or 'No Trespassers' signs posted.' Instead, The Humbling is an open house, one whose tributes to Whitman and Tolkien suggest the author's un-humble intentions: approachable yet resonant literature to move, inspire, and even instruct: 'Your dreams must not be mere bouquets / which prettify but whither soon.'" from Publishers Weekly's (June 20, 2022 issue)

5 OUT OF 5 STARS. "The Humbling and Other Poems is a mesmerizing poetry collection by Robert J. Tiess. The poems delve into the various aspects of life's journey, such as humility, love, apathy, time, hope, and much more. The collection follows a person in the prime of life, wondering what new mysteries await them in the future. Now I've Become a Butterfly demonstrates how we should strive to live for something greater than ourselves. Remembrance of a Future's Past reiterates the age-old adage that those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. Phoenix: Eternal insists that it is necessary to fall to learn something new and rediscover oneself. A warrior struggles with the inner conflicts of his soul in The War Within while Escaping Escapism shows how people sometimes pine for any form of escapist release to avoid the truth. Robert J. Tiess takes readers on an intellectual and emotional odyssey you don't want to end. Stylistically and structurally diverse, his beautifully crafted verses make a mark on your soul and leave you with a lot to ponder. Despite the similarity in themes and subject matter, each poem has something different to say...

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The Humbling and Other Poems