Strange Diary Days by Blake Edwards – review

I was fortunate enough to have received free copies of both of Blake Edwards poetry collections: Strange Diary Days: What We Leave Behind and Strange Diary Days: All That Can be Imagined in exchange for my honest reviews.

I gave What We Leave Behind 3.5 stars and All That Can be Imagine I gave 4 stars as I did enjoy it a bit more.

Strange Diary Days: All That Can be Imagined: 

From Goodreads:

” This first volume from new author Blake Edwards exhibits a rarity – genuine word-crafting. This 22-poem chapbook takes the reader through portals revealed in sun rays, hollow trees and day-dreams into a mythical landscape where legends toil in their fields and fairies peek out from the shadows of the foliage. These poems redisover the power of language through structure and device. Contemporary, elegant, yet classic and above all – beautiful to the last word.” 

I found this collection to be riveting to every last word. The imagery was breathtaking and thought-provoking. The collection was a wonderful balance of classical and modern poetry. The rhymes were natural and flowed with a beautiful rhythm. The imagery seemed reminiscent of something grand. The collection seemed to bring to life in the fairy-like form, simple emotional responses and tasks each human faces daily. There was something inherently wild  and ancient about the words in how they portrayed seemingly un-wild aspects of life.

I found this collection beautiful.

But while it was beautiful, sometimes it felt too wordy. The purpose of the poem and its meaning was sometime lost in the description. Still, some of my favorite excerpts below reveal exactly what I mean by this beauty and the wild concept.

 

COURTYARD

Split walls relinquish failing light to roam

as broken sextants, wind-tattered,

where ivy creeps, and eclipsed ghosts wander,

from vanished door to vanished door

like echoes,

spun out

to nothing. The air hangs like old truths,

still thinly lurking beneath veneers

scorned by time – brick-life ends here,

crumbles to dust in whorls of spent spirits

who, in the durance of hours, no longer deny

that their spells have, voiceless,

spun out

and ended.

 

COYOTE

Sideways steps the coyote,
though blood-swept sands strolls,
spying furious furry feet,
driven by scorching sore-eyed sun,
to wind-hollow canyons, still photographs
of speckle-soot waves, Coyote retreats,
with sweaty tongue-drips—vital juices,
waiting for dusky death’s release,
praying for a pregnant moon.

 

Strange Diary Days: What We Leave Behind:

From Goodreads: 

“The second chapbook in the neo-classical Strange Diary Days series by poet and author Blake Edwards. “What We Leave Behind” features Edwards’ signature delicacy and inverted structure, presenting 27 original works, each an homage to the musicians, artists, word-crafters and moments that have left the most indelible of imprints on our souls, one and all.” 

I enjoyed the dedications and the inspiration behind this particular collection as the author dedicated many of the poems to historic figures and others who’s words live on to this day. This collection reminded me that our words to matter and do last. We can always learn from what others have said in the past. This collection wasn’t as visually stimulating as the first one, hence why the rating is lower, but many of the poems felt like home. They felt like a reminder. Like this one…

 

CHRISTMAS

To cottages, happy hearths, and cozy homes for the winter we adjourn,
to watch crackles in the fireplace as the merry yule log burns.
Roasted, nutty, creamy coffee with sips and sups going down so mellow,
while for the kits cocoa and mallow are the finest of bedfellows.
Ornaments upon the tree, bulbs, baubles, and lacquered cherry wildlife,
lights hung ‘round the nettles, all shiny things intended to excite.
Presents enwrapped under piney billows, there carefully are stacked,
knowing happily, but all too well, how carelessly they’ll be unpacked.
Wading through a sea of wrinkled, crinkled wrapping paper,
little mousy-feet on pitter-patters sneaked, and they performed a caper.
But all is well, we sing songs as cherished now as their own time,
and feast on whole-hams, half-turkeys, fine cobblers, and wine.
Drinking in the yuletide morés, we satisfy our cheerful appetites,
with eyes a-twinkle humming to the tune of all that’s bright.
“Merry Christmas to all, and for all a guiding light”…
and a “merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

 

I would recommend both of these chapbooks to poets and readers alike who seek striking writing and true meaning.

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