This is a cut&past of a review that is pending on Amazon.
I Tumble Through the Diamond Dust Edward Willett
Twenty-one poems, mostly narrative and speculative/science fiction.
Willett writes speculative fiction, so these poems are unusual. They are also a lot of fun.
Willett’s illustrator, Wendi Nordell, has added to our enjoyment of this book with an amazing full-page drawing accompanying each poem. That makes this an even more unusual work.
Now I have to come up with a star count. Is it ‘roughly equal to best’ in a genre I’m not sure I’ve seen before? So, as always, do not let my star count override your judgement of content. More on the stars, counting, and my rating challenges later. Let’s get to the real point: Willett’s words.
The title poem will give you an instant introduction to Willett’s voice. It is an imaginary first person experience, and quite moving.
For a comment on social control, turn to The Telling, where we find this: ““Stay with me a while, and help me keep /imagination’s fire burning bright. /To worship the Creator, we create,/ and thus the Single Narrative defy.” //The telling is the telling the telling!” If you think that’s a spoiler, you’re in for a surprise when you read the entire poem.
For an amazing commentary on religion and happiness, turn to Saint Billy. For a teaser, read this: “But here’s the goddamned pardon the expression truth: …”
Willett can create a tragedy around a unicorn, as in I Remember His Eyes, where we find this: “I remember the knife. The leering king /(whose glance made clear had he more time /there’d be one fewer virgin in his realm) /pulled from his belt a jagged blade and….” Again, if you think that’s a spoiler, you will find otherwise when you read the entire piece.
For an unusual take on religions and God, turn to Emily Alison Atkinson Finds God. In this longer narrative, here are some quotes to pique your interest: “Now, looking for God was something /Emily Atkinson had done all her life. /As a child she tried on churches /like ladies’ hats, …” and this: “Anyway, Emily opened this box, /and inside was a glowing white ball, /and this voice said inside her head, /“Hi, I’m God, who are you?” … ” It is impossible for me to give you the pleasure of reading this poem in a few quotes. Buy the book and turn to this page. It is a very enjoyable narrative.
For a real personal drama in a sci-fi setting turn to I Will Ride Off the Horizon, which includes a lot of interpersonal introspection, including this: “You think I do not know, /that you somehow have kept it hidden, but /you cannot hide the two-backed beast /within the scarred and pitted walls /of some tin can containing /at the most two hundred souls.” Again, that’s not really a spoiler, as the poem works up to and well beyond this point.
I have other favourites in this collection, but the above should be enough to give you a decent idea of what Willett has created for you. Now for my star count boilerplate.
My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. I try hard to be consistent. I rate this work on literary merit and enjoy-ability, and I think it is five star material. Highly recommended.
Kindle Book Review Team member.
(Note: this reviewer received a free copy of this book for an independent review. He is not associated with the author or Amazon.)