This was my second review as a member of the Amazon Kindle Book Review team.
This is not a simple collection of poems, even though there are only four of them. In Like. Love. Hate. (the first poem) we have a triple delivery with many clever parallels between the three topics. This is not, repeat not, simple. It is mind-bending, and after three or four readings I’m still not certain I get it all.
The second poem, Like, or Victoria’s Dress, is much more accessible and takes the reader into the mind of a young girl choosing a dress. This is simpler, but perhaps my favourite of this collection.
The third poem, Love, or the buddha of questions, is again subtle and requires multiple readings. It concludes with a unique description of total capture in love.
The fourth poem, Hate, or The Beginning and the End, is very clever, brilliant even. The images are fresh and compelling. The subject matter is quite disturbing. Of all the poems this is the strongest, the one which for me most powerfully forces the intended experience onto the reader.
Why only four stars? There were a few things I could not understand, and while I read Seven Types of Ambiguity (William Empson) a very long time ago, I still expect to feel I am entitled to guess the meaning of the author eventually. I suspect I’m seeing ambiguity type 6 in, for example, the hand with 11 fingers. Given the superb control shown by the author, I wonder what I am to make of this image.
This is of course my personal opinion. Your pleasure may vary. If you enjoy poetry that makes you think, this collection is definitely recommended for you.