My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Going into this poetry collection, I was a little bit hesitant because this usually isn't the medium through which I consume written art. From the beginning, the prologue and various soliloquies turned me off, because I started wondering if this whole book was going to have such a wordy alliterating style.
Fortunately, I found some treasures that I could ponder on. The author doesn't hesitate to address issues like racism, sex, politics, feminism, homosexuality, environmental issues, head on; which is something that I could really admire.
One great thing that he was is choose a descriptive image and flow with it for the stanza of the majority of the poem. That makes it feel more consistent, and what also contributes that that feeling of consistency was the repetitive. Sometimes there are phrases that seem to repeat over and over again, but I can identify that's just to emphasize a certain point that he was trying to convey.
However, the balance that has to be struck is to not make it too preachy and for it to come from a place of humble suggestion. I understand that the author clearly wants to convey a message to the reader, but saying "do this, do that." isn't going to be that effective for me. If I honestly wanted to go learn how to be a better human, I would go to some other trusted source.
Another writing device that is often utilized in poetry is rhyming, and the author does rhyme in several spots. Most of the time, I find rhyming distracting, if not unnecessary because it makes me go on a puzzle hunt trying to connect which words rhyme with which one that subtracts me concentrating on the message.
Within the poem about Mother Earth that's called "Unconditional",he uses the metaphor of a violent assault to describe what humans are doing to earth. Obviously, since the first stanza the reader knows exactly what he's talking about based on the context, yet he still comes right out and says "this is mother earth" directly in the poem. I feel like that's overstating, or rather stating the obvious which seems to indicate that he isn't keeping his poetry mysterious enough.
My absolute favorite poem was called "Holding Hands" in which it describes the marriage of two gay guys and it really had an open and frank discussion. The way that the author set it up what in an interview or Q & A style which really make for an interesting discussion. My favorite line from that is:
Unclog your thoughts,
Accept love as a smasher of boundaries...(and later on)
Love unclogged is true freedom and
hope for all of us,
creating possibilities for the impossible.
Overall, if you want to get into a collection of poems that explore deep themes and problems in today's "conditioned" society, I would say to go and pick this awesome collection up to give it a try!
This book was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day and you can find it here!
View all my reviews