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To bright to see

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Stunning. Insightful. Unexpected.

I couldn’t put this small book of poetry down – so moved was I by the kaleidoscope of words, each piece of work so uniquely brilliant (though a small few, I must confess, I found maddeningly impenetrable).

Experimental in nature, the “poems” captured here cross the line from verse into narrative, before sliding back into what is likely better designated as “prose poems” – small gems of literature laden with imagery so evocative they really are, in some cases, “too bright to see”. The author also experiments with pictorial poems, each of which are as delightful to thoughtfully unpack as they are a visual treat to enjoy.

Themes covered are too plentiful to list, but just to get us started, the authors lens irradiates a broad spectrum including: Male-hood, fear of intimacy, power, control, nurturance, nature, hope, media, race relations, Covid, happiness, suffering, tedium, motherhood, fear of failure. And of course, longing, love, intimacy, joy and innocence.

Interspersed within are so many ideas, metaphors and references that it seems clear that quite literally every phrase, be it sparse or richly redolent, has been rendered with precise and passionate intent.

Some of my favorites:

Calendae – I must admit to being totally captivated by the image invoked of the mischievous, other-worldly and yes, handsome monkey. – I find this poem disarming, affecting and achingly vulnerable.

Gentle readers – Another heart-rending gem that speaks to me about suppressed emotion, tenderness and longing.

Time passes – echoes of Virginia Wolfe in a sensitive and somewhat claustrophobic look at regret and aging, in parallel (angst) with others.

The author tone is by turns, ironic, somber, playful, garrulous, fragile, raw, deliberately somewhat clinically observant, and always gorgeously evocative.

(Consider the following for an example):

“Sebastian’s hair was standing on his head like a blonde cabbage untucked in a breeze. He pressed his eyes together as if wringing out excess daylight and opened them again. “

I love, loved this collection, and will definitely be thumbing through these pages again (and often). Highly recommended for poetry and literary lovers everywhere – this fabulous collection is a new gift on every page, to be unpacked slowly, letting its message (wisdom) wash over you, every work a slow release deservedly savored.

In short, this is an absolutely sublime, collection, that, to borrow from the author, is achingly reminiscent of a “sometimes solemn, sometimes joyous, oftentimes ardent, and always tumbling humanity”.

A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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