The Darkness of His Dreams by John W. Leys
Reviewed by Candice Louisa Daquin
I have consistently admired John Leys as a writer for several reasons. He’s very honest to himself. He’s not an overtly crude writer, though he is clearly gender biased (as most, aside the very best, tend to be) and he is true to himself and very passionate about his beliefs.
In his latest collection of poetry published by Broken Wing Publishing, in the poem the book is titled from, Leys writes; “They all want a hero /Not an uncommon want, it seems/ But in whom does a hero confide/ The true darkness of his dreams?”
It is this early poem that speaks loudest of Leys intention with this poetry collection. He’s expressing how difficult it is to meet expectations and irrespective, whom do you tell of your real feelings?
This struck me perhaps more deeply than anything Leys has thus written, for its brute honesty and how relatable this is. How often we try to be heroes of one form or another, going through life with positive affirmations, and never telling a soul of our true thoughts, and sometimes, how dark in comparison they are.
All the Beginnings of Everything is a poetic triumph for Kindra M. Austin. As in her previous collections, the loss of Austin’s mother and the resulting grief is a shadow that still hangs over much of the poetry in this collection, though here Austin pushes beyond that specific grief and focusses her poetic lens on her entire life and history. Austin opens up her veins and lets her life, her pain, her anger, and her history bleed onto the page. In the tradition of confessional poets such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, Austin lays everything bare in a sometimes uncomfortably personal way. But the best poetry makes you a little uncomfortable as it makes you question yourself and the world around you. And while she is baring her soul, Austin is always in control and always strong as she guides you through her psyche. Like Van Gogh she turns trauma, grief, and pain into a beautiful work of art that points the way to the light we all strive for.
All the Beginnings of Everything is a well-crafted poetic cycle that will leave you wanting more and I cannot recommend it enough.
Between the Trees: Poetry and Prose is the debut poetry collection by Kristiana Reed of My Screaming Twenties and Free Verse Revolution. This is much more than just a collection of verse and prose. Reed has created a vessel for the reader to follow her in on a poetic journey through her life, which is bookended by the poems ‘Between the Trees’ and ‘Beyond the Trees’ (The poem ‘Grown Up’ appears first in the collection, acting as a prologue to the poetic cycle that follows). Continue reading
This is the first of a new feature on this blog. I’ll be posting ocassional reviews of books that I am reading, poetry related or not. If you’d like to see more of these, please let me know in the comments.
Title: The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion.
Author: Daniel McCoy
This book is intended as a introduction to Norse/Viking Mythology and culture for the layman. It is written in a fairly accessible style and contains a plethora of information and retells many of the best known tales from Norse Mythology. He also includes many footnotes and a large bibliography if one is inclined to read deeper about these topics. However, there are some pretty substantial flaws in the book that a potential reader should be aware of: