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review 2017-11-12 11:30
The Holy Book of Blake: "The Poetic Image" by Cecil Day-Lewis
The Poetic Image - Cecil Day Lewis

Word of Warning: What you're about to read might not make much sense if you don't have read the book. Read at your own peril...

 

 

Perhaps what Blake also represents to me is the “thou” in performance, on a threshold over which lay different spacial awareness, new, thee in triplicate state, digital long haul through double-number's realm - restoring boring patter to the even lie that led to this.

 

PS

 

Goodbye

 

I cannot go on for very much longer, because Carol's shelf-life, at the bottom of a reject-pile, thee's words, alert the authorities to one's 'undercover' performance as thine own Songs of Experience and Failure, 'shit', you know how it is. Blake here, he did you feel injustice because it is all there?

 

Anonymity, rejection, failure. It's all you knew and experienced, as a prophet: not only unrecognised by the community in your own land of 'Albion', as their Prophet; but also viewed with bafflement, indifference, disconnection, de-friend quality in personal dealings with your fellow bards, more or less, wholly inconsequential; you have, like, 'zero' effect you, in Albion thine of a too, too soppy mug, sceptic tank, this beach, this hut, this sea, this dump, this fecking Portugal’s greater glory, God and Lady AD's words, offering tokens of animal sacrifice and conditions on a toilet by the lake where.

 

 

If you're into Poetry and Blake in particular, read on.

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review 2017-11-06 17:46
Dragonfly Song - Wendy Orr

This was kind of a hard book to review, mostly because it almost falls between genres. It's classed as an upper Middle-Grade historical fantasy, which, that's not wrong . . .

 

I felt like it had more of a classic children's fiction feel to it. It's coming-of-age, and also a sort of epic hero's journey, straddling children's lit and YA in a way that's often done more by adult literary works. It touches on many 'big ideas': deformity, religion/society, acceptance, adoption, trauma, bullying, disability, purpose/identity, fate . . . The format is creative and unique. The story arc stretches from the MC's birth to age 14 and is told in omniscient third person varying with passages in verse.

 

I'm not sure if there was a meaning to the alternating styles; at some points, I thought the dreamlike verse passages were meant to show the MC's perspective in a closer, almost experiential or sensory format as an infant, a toddler, a mute child . . . but then that didn't necessarily carry through, so perhaps it was more to craft an atmosphere for the story.

 

The setting is the ancient Mediterranean, and the story picks up on legends of bull dancing. The world feels distinct, grounded and natural, without heavy-handed world-building. It's a world of gods and priestesses, sacrifice and death and surrender. Humans seem very small within it, and as a children's book, it's challenging rather than comforting. There's death and violence and loss, handled in a very matter-of-fact manner, so I'd recommend it for maybe ages 10+, depending on the child. It's not gratuitously violent or graphic, but it's a raw-edged ancient world where killing a deformed child, having pets eaten by wild animals, beating slaves - including children - and sacrificing people as well as animals to the gods is just part of life. 

 

I was very kindly sent a hardcover edition via the Goodreads Giveaways program, and the book production is lovely. It has a bold, graphic cover with some nice foil accents, a printed board cover (which I prefer for kids books due to the durability), fully illustrated internal section pages, and pleasant, spacious typesetting.

 

Confident, mature young readers will find this an engaging, challenging and meaningful read with an inspiring story arc and some lovely writing. Hesitant readers and very young readers will probably find it a struggle. I'd give it 5/5 as a product, 4/5 as a literary work and 3/5 as kid's entertainment.

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text 2017-09-05 04:43
Bittersweet Day...

Emotionally draining.

 

Today my mama drove me and my girls to visit with my Bubi.  It was a surprise for her and seeing the elation on her face when she saw us all at her door...it nearly brought me to tears.  She hugged me so hard and for so long that my girls started to feel left out.  She's been ill lately, and is very stubborn about listening to the regimen the doctors have laid out for her.  I know you are not supposed to have favorites, but not only is she the grandparent I've always been the closest to, she's the only one I have left.

 

Over the years, I've been to the funerals of my paternal great grandmother, paternal grandmother, both grandfathers and two uncles.  Seven years ago I nearly lost my best friend--my soulmate to a clogged artery and was a total basket case sitting in a surgical waiting room for over six hour just waiting to hear if he was okay.  Nine months ago a misogynistic, xenophobic, racist madman won the presidency of my country and I had to hold my daughter as she cried, fearing she'd be forced into a conversion camp because the future vice president believes in them.  A few weeks later, I lost my father.  Six weeks ago I lost my [nearly] 18-year-old cat.  A week ago, my nephew's car, with my brother driving, burst into flames.  When my brother told me what happened, he said it was daddy that got him out of the car safely.  But it was a near thing.  

 

This afternoon, as we visited with the matriarch of the family, we went through bunches and bunches of photos.  There were so many happy and funny memories.  It was so nice seeing those photos, but it also reminded me of how much time has gone by, and how much I miss my pop, and how I'm not even close to being done grieving my daddy.  And I'm so messed up over my cat that I was triggered reading a few animal specific scenes in The Diabolic and I turned off Game of Thrones in the middle of an episode and never finished the rest off the season. (Don't want to spoil anyone, but if you watch the show, you probably know why.)

 

We all know death is a part of life.  There is no escape, and for some, like my Paw-Paw, it's a kindness.  And we try to keep the good times in mind, or say placating things like, "They're in a better place," or "They're not suffering anymore" but death still really effing sucks.  Especially when it piles on you one right after the other.

 

Seeing my mother scolding my Bubi for not keeping her oxygen on at all times just reminded me that I'll lose her too (possibly soon).  It gave me all the sad feels.  Especially when mama called me later to say thanks for today and to remind me that she loves me and my bro very much.

 

I don't spend nearly enough time with my family.  So I guess this is me venting my sadness and reminding everyone to spend time with your loved ones while they're still with you--or while you're still with them.

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review 2017-02-10 23:07
Broken Crayons Color Best: The Poetic Memoir Of Me
Broken Crayons Color Best: The Poetic Memoir of Me (Volume 1) - Niki Jilvontae

Title: Broken Crayons Color Best: The Poetic Memoir of Me
Author: Niki Jilvontae
Publisher: Pen Hustlas Publications
Series: Volume 1
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

Broken Crayons Color Best: The Poetic Memoir of Me" by Niki Jilvontae

My Thoughts....

I can't say it any other way than this author puts it..."This book is for the underdog, the abused, the hurt, the scared, the angry." Just to "Know that there is light after the darkness. Just hold on!!" I truly could not say it any better than this author puts it out their for her readers. The story really left me shaking my head and saying oh my God! Really? How much can one person take? But knowing in the end that 'no matter how dark the hues are in ones life...'Broken Crayons Color Best!!!" Now to understand this well told story one will have to pick up this read to see how well this author brings it out so well to the reader definitely showing it doesn't matter what you have been presented with...you should never give up. Thank you to the author so much for sharing this story with us!

Now to put the icing on the cake....the poems were simply off the chart well done and went so well with each chapter!

Here are the titles of each of the poems presented that definitely caught my attention with them being so well done.

From.....
"Precious" [one of my favorites]
"The Dove"
'Sunrise"
"Strength" [another on of my favorites]
"Reflections"
"Pure Bliss"
"Untold"
"Gone with the Wind"
"My Dreams"
"A New Day"
"Promises"
"The Past"
"Sometimes"
"What Do You See"
"Love Is"
"Black Child"
"Violator"
"Change"
"Self-Preservation" [another one of my favorites]
"My Passion"
"Light My Path"
"Myself"
"Staying Grounded" [another one I truly enjoyed]
"Whispers"
to....
"I Can Finally Fly"

Now, to get the rest of this amazing story you will have to tune into part 2 to get the rest of the story.

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review 2016-02-29 20:14
Burial Rites - Hannah Kent

“Haunting” is the best word to describe this début novel by Hannah Kent. Set in the nineteenth century Iceland, the novel deals with matter of perception: how do you see yourself and how others see you. The novel also gently introduces the reader to the historical Iceland. 

 

Agnes Magnúsdóttir - central character of the story - is condemned to death for the brutal murder of two men. She is placed under the custody to live out her last days with a farming family in the north of Iceland. At first, the family is horrified and outraged at the prospect of having a murderess under their roof, but come to accept it as a necessary evil and duty to the government. Only the young Assistant Reverend, Tóti Jónsson, is willing to spend time listening to Agnes’s story in hope of bringing her closer to God. As the year progresses and the necessity and needs of everyday life force the family to work harder together, they begin to discover a different side to Agnes that is not shared in people’s gossips and assumptions about the woman. 

 

The novel is inspired by the true life events. Every chapter begins with a related to the event historic evidence or correspondence of the persons involved. You can sense the depth of research that the author has done to convey the authenticity of the story. I appreciated that whilst reading the book. When I, driven by curiosity, started looking on-line about the events set in the book, I discovered contradictory views to the one Kent presents in her novel. However, in the afterword Kent shares that her goal was not to prove whether Agnes was guilty or not. Her concern was that many women at the time ‘were unable to author their public identity’, and any woman who dared to step outside the lines of the accepted standards were seen as suspicious (pp.350-351). Kent’s interest to tell the story of Agnes was to represent the ambiguity and humanity of the woman and leave the judging to the reader.

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