Beware the inspiring phrase
[Name here] described the book as “written in a prose as spare as a winter sunset,” adding that “it is an elegy, not just for Kooser’s forebears but for all of us.”
As spare as a winter sunset is a nice phrase, and is brings a feeling of elevation, it signals that this is hard won emotional praise from a smart cookie. It also belongs to a literary way of talking. Why say the prose is concise. Why say his prose is as sharp as a pin. That's not the way a man who says forebears would wrote.
Here's the problem. Winter sunsets aren't sparse. They are kaleidoscopic. Look at the sky in winter. It is so wide and has so many colours. At sunset the whole sky is full of intense bright colours. It is not thin or scattered but deep and concentrated.
The phrase might make you feel inspired while you're reading but it wouldn't mean much if you heard it while watching a winter sunset.
That's lesson number one. Metaphors are only good if they are true.