Clair-Obscur of the Soul by Jean-Yves Solinga, is a book of poetry by a poet of immense ability and range whose poetry collected in this book is truly remarkable. It contains many breathtakingly beautiful and sophisticated poems, which reach out to the very limits of the human condition, where true art exists. They are a product and symbolically reflect a life of cultural duality and a search for the cool plains of resolution with the past. He came from the solar heat of French Morocco to the Labradorean cold coastal waters and countryside of New England.His father, a gendarme, mother, sister and brother had gone through the tragic war years of occupation in Marseille, which would later become the topic of conversation at the dinner table. He was then transferred after WWII in 1946 to Sidi Bel Abbès where Jean-Yves was born in the hospital that serviced the Headquarters of the French Foreign Legion on the periphery of the Sahara in Algeria. The family traveled again with Jean-Yves only a month old, to Salé, just south of Sidi Moussa, in Morocco, where his father was posted. The journey was very difficult for the adults but Jean-Yves spent most of it comfortably sleeping on the garments in a suitcase. The family settled and Jean-Yves spent an idyllic childhood in the sun of North Africa. He attended French grammar and secondary schools. His memories of that time are of the joy of being aware of the pleasure of sight; the cocoon of the innocence of youth unconscious of geopolitical matters. His family, having decided to settle in America, sent Jean-Yves, at age 14, ahead alone in order not to miss the start of the school term. Living in New England he would experience first hand one of his many future encounters with the freezing cold and snow which up to that time had been seen on Christmas cards. A new and completely different life began.He had already written poetry by the time of his bachelors degree and a brief tour of duty in the US Army after which he began a career teaching French Language, Culture and Literature in Connecticut schools and colleges. He completed a Masters and then a PhD on North Africa before retiring in 2004 at which time he earnestly concentrated on his writing.The title Clair-obscur of the Soul was chosen because it is indicative of this cultural duality, and many of the poems in this book draw you into a world of intellectual contrasts, where one reality is juxtaposed with another, that is simultaneously fascinating, unsettling and revelatory. As you read Jean-Yves poems you are immediately aware that here is a previously unpublished poet with an effortless ability to use language, conveying myriad emotions, creating an ambience of mellifluous subtlety with immense depth from the very first poem. Jean-Yves free prose style of poetry, which eschews more traditional forms, is not in the least affected or pretentious but rather it is immanent to his expansive vision and narrative voice as a poet.This is a remarkable book and debut from a poet who has lived through some of the important social upheavals of the late 20th century and writing from the depths of his soul. A book of poetry that must be read by all those interested in a singularly unique view of life that may redefine the capacity of poetry to be what it should be: the art of expressing pure thought about the existential human condition.