Sunday, May 14, 2006

'Seasons Black and Red: Poems for Manic Depressives' by Phineas Narco

TITLE – Seasons Black and Red: Poems for Manic Depressives
AUTHOR – Phineas Narco
PRICE - $4.00 (ebook) $12.00 (print)
GENRE - Poetry

The focus of my interest in poetry has always been the ideas, glimpses of the world from a unique point of view. The better poems in this collection (there are over sixty) give that moment of vivid recognition of a new idea, an idea passed to you from the poet as a gift--a thought you would never have on your own. There are virtuoso moments such as the description of a convenience store hot dog in 'My Daily Bread'. The use of poetic devices like rhyme, assonance and repetition tend to have more amateurish results and the poet is at his best in free form pieces like Hell: "Hell is being in a Laundromat on the lower east side..." wind up to a trademark pithy last line.

I would not call 'Seasons Black and Red' the mature work of a fully realized poet, but it is a fascinating looking into a poet's notebook showing that he has an eye for the telling details of real life and a willingness to experiment, with variable success. At least half of the poems have at their heart a thought of image well worth contemplation. 'Seasons' is definitely a worthwhile read especially for those looking for a voice that opens up a window on living with the shifts in mood and vitality that distinguish bipolar disorder--or poetry that comments on the seedier side of everyday life from an excruciatingly self-aware perspective.

RATING: 6.5/10

10/10 Lulu


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