Review of Requiem by Daniel Ståhl

The only other collection of Sonnets I’ve read is Shakespeare’s.

One would think that any other would pale by comparison. But this is one impressive collection. A stand-out among all the poetry I’ve read. Flipping quickly through the book, you will see that the hands of a clock on the pages turn with each leaf, and with this accompanying image of time, you set out on journey into an uncommonly compelling world. In a way, I was reminded of Clark Ashton Smith’s fantastic, imagistic poetry.

Thrilling, rich, and properly metered lyric sonnets, dense with imagery and sonic resonance. Here is a brief quote:

“In dreams we miss a paradise thought lost
To wake and carry out its holocaust– “

The pithy phrases and philosophic metaphors and motifs recur with startling regularity. There is a lot to be gained from reading this work. It is composed of carefully wrought poems, interwoven with addictive, dreamlike rhythms. The style is not tiresome or boring, even after 211 examples of the same structure. The blended mythologies and intimate portraits are both memorable and surreal.

For lovers of splendid writing, hidden morals, and interplays of grand themes, give this singular work a try.

Review of Hemming Flames by Patricia Colleen Murphy

A devastating collection of poems dealing with tough topics in a way that leaves a memorable impression, written by a contemporary poet unafraid to openly discuss humanity’s deepest fears.

You would be hard-pressed to find a better debut collection published in recent years. The last lines of the book deliver on what the rest of the collection promises – that there is symbolic relationship between the images and interconnected stories – beyond lyrical intensity – clasped within the slim volume’s covers. As re-readable as her second production: Bully Love. Tame is not a word to describe her work, but even the faint of heart will be able to perceive the deep thought and care that went into these poems.

Review of The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

ISBN 0894712330 (ISBN13: 9780894712333)

When choosing which single volume of Poe’s to keep in my collection I settled on this one. 

I decided against the Library of America edition of the tales due to conspicuous absences in the Table of Contents. This one has all of my favorite poems, stories and a few essays. I supplemented this with the LOA edition of his Reviews and the Delphi Complete Works ebook edition, chiefly for the letters. You would be hard-pressed to find a more delightful volume of Poe than this one, even if it is missing a few gems (like Eureka). It has pretty much all of my favorites.
He was the kind of author I will reread for life. I rarely grow tired of his semi-Gothic prose and lyrical poetry. Ever since reading Tell-Tale Heart, Pit and the Pendulum, Cask of Amontillado in middle school, I’ve cherished this large tome for the wealth of memories attached to it. I remember reading Pym and being amazed (in high school) and rereading The Raven a hundred times in an abortive attempt to memorize it. Most charming of all, perhaps, are the illustrations in this omnibus. If only LOA would take their work more seriously, stop leaving out key works from their authors and invest in illustrated pages. These editions from this publisher may be getting hard to find, but I also picked up their first volume of Twain as well.
If you are debating about reading Poe, do yourself the favor of reading his Complete Tales, in any form – even ebook – and if you can afford it, stick this one on your shelf.

1st Quarterly Review 2019

2 Short Stories and 1 Poem were chosen for the 1st Quarterly Review 2019 in Bewildering Stories!

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