Dani Hoots’ Review of Chained by Night by Larissa Ione

Chained by Night, Book 2 of The MoonBound Clan Vampires by Larissa Ione

Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Published by: Pocket Books

Review by: Dani Hoots

Chained by Night, Book 2 of The MoonBound Clan Vampire, by Larissa Ione follows Hunter, a vampire clan leader, as he has promised to marry Rasha Redmoon, the daughter of another clan leader, so that their clans can have a bond and not start war. The only problem is that Hunter hates Rasha and finds her sister’s, Aylin, company a lot more enjoyable. Aylin, though, has been promised to another clan leader, one that doesn’t treat anyone kindly and Hunter knows she will be abused. Through twists and turns, Hunter finds himself getting closer to Aylin as they go another dimension to prove their strength and not have to sacrifice his firstborn to the demon Samnult, they grow even closer. The clan leaders don’t like Hunter trying to take Aylin away from them, but he knows he must follow his heart, no matter the cost.

This book was enjoyable, full of mystery and surprises, and it was hard to put down. I really enjoyed Aylin and found her to be a strong character by the end of the story. I loved her development through the story and how she learned to stand up for herself. She reminded me a bit of Gomora from Guardians of the Galaxy, having to do what her leader says all the time until she finally stood up for herself and helped the enemy, which would have been Hunter’s clan in this book.

As for Hunter, I liked him a lot more in this book than the first. I don’t know if it was because I got to know him more than just a leader or if it was something else, but I found him a lot more interesting. I usually don’t care for the good guy leader type, but this story had me captivated. He reminded me a bit of Charming in the end, trying to appease those in charge but ending up standing up for love instead.

Some things I didn’t care for in the writing style was that the author sometimes switched character viewpoints to one character and then never came back to them just so she could get information across. I prefer a story that stays to certain characters throughout the entire novel, otherwise it feels broken and disconnected. At first I didn’t like how it had completely switched the focus on a different set of characters compared to the first book, but after a while I realized the author wanted to tell a new story, not expand on the last. The characters were still there, but they were in the background.

Lastly, I found it odd that in the first book, the vampires seemed more scientific, that it was more a virus that no one knew how started and didn’t seem to have the supernatural element, but in this book, the supernatural element was played up a lot more with traveling to another dimension and Samnult being a demon and such. I found this to disconnect the stories and wished it was either mixed better, or either a scientific or a supernatural approach was taken.

All in all, I really enjoyed the story and can’t wait for the next book in the series. It is full of action and romance and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I give it a 3.8/5!

Dani

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Review of “A Matter of Mercy,” by: Lynne Hugo


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/Barnes & Nobles/Books-A-Million/Goodreads

  • Print Length:278 pages
  • Publisher:Blank Slate Press (August 1, 2014)
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B00LOB5F6I

In accordance with FTC guidelines for bloggers and endorsements, I would like to clarify that the books reviewed by me are either purchased/borrowed by me, or provided by the publisher/author free of charge. I am neither compensated for my reviews nor are my opinions influenced in any way by the avenues in which I obtain my materials.  I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Review Written by: Paula Tupper

A Matter of Mercy is one of those well-written books that lifts itself out of the ordinary airport reads about damaged women and rudderless men and introduces threads of serious questions about personal relationships, guilt, misunderstanding, and communication.  Hugo sets her stage beautifully on the oyster flats of Cape Cod Bay, where Cici has returned to her childhood home to help care for her dying mother.  Cici has a lot of serious baggage including a marriage that failed, and a period of prison time as the result of a vehicular homicide she caused while under the influence of alcohol.  Her mother’s house stands on the horseshoe beach near the aquaculturists’ oyster and clam beds.   Cici meets an old acquaintance from high school who works the beds, and they share a one night stand with disastrous results.  Complicating the picture are a lawsuit between the oyster grant holders and the “washashore’ parvenu rich residents who are trying to claim the oyster beds as part of their beachfront property, and Cici’s obsession with watching the mother of the boy she killed, in a misguided attempt to feel some sort of release from her guilt feelings.

Hugo does an excellent job of showing the miscues and missed opportunities that arise when people cannot talk about what is going on in their heads.  Cici and her mother have problems discussing approaching death and Cici’s isolation.  Cici and Rid misunderstand what each wants from the other, and jump to the wrong conclusions in their budding relationship.  Rid finds himself trapped by his inarticulateness as he tries to maneuver the shoals of the lawsuit.  And almost tragically, Cici is unable to control her need to somehow connect with Terry, the dead boy’s mother, who has never been able to cope with the loss of her child.

Hugo based her story on a real life lawsuit between the grant holders and the beachhouse owners in 1996.  She has a firm grasp on the ins and outs of oyster farming, and she understands the bred in the bone connection the grantholders have for their family businesses.  She has a deft touch with characterization and dialog, and moves her various storylines along with grace and ease.

I was very impressed with Hugo’s ability to paint pictures with fresh word images.  At one point, she describes Rid standing next to Cici this way: “Rid bent to caress Lizzie’s ears.  When he straightened, he stood shorter than Caroline’s five-eight by a sideways thumb.”  It gave a perfect snapshot of him in relation to Cici, allowing you to see their physical stances.  She describes a contrast between the sickroom and the beach as “The light beyond the window was an insult to what was happening indoors.”   She goes on to tell us all we need to know of Cici’s mother’s condition “Instead she was oblivious to it, only able to focus on an argument with pain.”  I loved when she described autumn as “the fall had stretched out like a sleeping dog.”

There are no easy answers to the story.  Hugo resolves her plot lines, but we are left wondering about the nature of mercy, and the wisdom of the choices some of the characters make.  There is something lovely in the way that Cici says farewell to her mother, and in the family that forms around her by her mother’s dear friends.  Rid and Cici definitely grow in the progression of the novel, and their difficulties are cleanly drawn and empathetically framed.

I loved Hugo’s facility with the facts of oyster farming, and was pleased to learn a great deal about aquaculture and the people who make their living from the Bay.  It feels like a part of an arcane and forgotten culture, one that ties us to a different era, and a different style of life.  This was far more than a contemporary romance.  This book handled serious human questions with dignity and heart.  I am very glad I read it.  We rarely get stories that can stand alone as a compelling tale and also as a contemplation on the human condition.

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Review of “Station Eleven,” by: Emily St. John Mandel &Literary Tea Feature


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“Survival is insufficient”
-Star Trek: Voyager-

Seasoned actor Arthur Leander, begins this stirring, dark apocalyptic tale, (fusing both melodramatic and darkly humorous elements),standing on a stage at a Toronto Shakespearean theater production, arrayed in the uniform of the tragic Shakespeare character of King Lear, looking outwards onto all the dazed, enthralled faces of the audience watching what will be the final production for the both the life of Arthur, civilization, and any production of Shakespeare performed in an orderly, symmetrical society (with fixed structure and security). His performance is interrupted, unpredictably, by a sudden stroke.In this initial dramatic scene of the story, his erratic pendulum swing from presenting the life and ambition of a Shakespeare actor suddenly smothered by the menace of death is a very rich, excellent simulacrum of that same oscillation between life and death that swings wildly  and incessantly throughout the heart of this rich literary work, about the apocalypse, in Emily St. John Mandel’s story.  We are swept from the dazzling spotlight aimed at the center-stage of the life of an actor; the heart of an infamous Shakespeare play; and into the apocalyptic afterlife that follows his tragic death. For the rest of the tale, we are left with a somber reflection of life and death, the impact one person’s life has on the unfolding patterns of future lives, even though the story ostensibly also acts primarily as a survival story, an account of humanity’s ability to endure the miserable gloom and degradation of a society after a virulent viral outbreak ravages civilization as a whole.

This story functions on so many different artistic levels, without the author having to be so didactic about describing these mechanics, because Emily St. John Mandel has a strong grasp of the post-modern literary art of pastiche,or the expert weaving of so many disparate genre elements (or types of stories). This is a story of human’s survival, the paradox and legacy of a famous Hollywood actor, the characters living in the shadows of his death (trying to find their own life’s purpose), all wound together neatly with mesmerizing, sublime prose that has been woven together with so much use of the art of subtle writing. It is never overwritten, and it allows enough artful pause over certain segments so we can ponder the meaning of our lives.

More than survival, the heart of this novel is the endless, sometimes labyrinthine search for meaning  in life. How do we keep ourselves from being bogged down by existential dread, or the strangling sensation that overtakes us, when we begin to ruminate over this central question that haunts Shakespeare’s tragedies (this novel is a literary model of all the dramatic features of a Shakespearean tragedy in many ways). We fret constantly, just like one of the characters in this book, whether or not we’re really ghosts, mindlessly wandering through the dead catacombs of life.. Emily St. John Mandel’s writing of this exchange between one of Arthur’s friends Clark, and another client for his business (an ironically sedate type of arrangement, given the nature of the exchange) mulls over this core consideration, and philosophical quandary of the story. It is the same thing that haunts the famous Elizabeth Bishop poem, entitled The Man Moth, which talks about the contradictory spectral nature (in a metaphorical sense) of the way some people take their lives for granted, or don’t see each day as a daily, recurrent miracle that we have one more blessed day to live our lives to the fullest extent possible.

Sometimes, life though makes us get burned by the bright lights of dauntless passion and ambition, much like the way the title artist in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, finds himself tumbling, tragically, back to after being burnt by the existential wrath (or recriminations) of the human psyche. This is the same burning sun of how our own societal ambition to grow and expand our corporal structures, and our accelerated technological/scientific advancements will cause us someday to be Icarus, who will face the wrath of the amorality of nature or the inevitability of apocalyptic events.

To think,that a novel that explores all these multifarious elements of existence and the creation of art, has one central image, at the beginning of this novel, that richly tells the entire story in one dramatic frame of the last performance, of an aging actor, acting out his final scene as the tragic character of King Lear.  And to think, this novel only continues ever-the-more in your mind, as any thoughts prompted by reading this dizzying, somewhat melancholic dream of this novel continues the story in your mind. Station Eleven is a beautiful apocalyptic novel, encapsulating the strife and vicissitudes of life, all within a delicately shaped apocalyptic nightmare, which will deeply affect even the most hard-hearted and cynical of readers.

    Literary Tea Recipe- Station Eleven Tea-A Spice-ridden, apocalyptic tea, that will leave your mind swimming with deep thoughts about the meaning of your life, while in the thrall of an apocalyptic nightmare:

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To further promote the perfect pairing of tea and books,  here is a special literary tea recipe, inspired by reading Station Eleven!

-1 bag of Gypsy Zhena Cocunut Chai Black Tea
-Dash of Pumpkin Spice
-Drop of Almond Extract

This is the tea that comes the closet to casting a strangely calming pallor, in the minds of any readers, mystified by the dazzling imagination of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

**If you are interested in the tea side of things when it comes to regular blog features, be sure to check out our sub-page, where you’ll find special tea reviews and regular tea recipes!!**

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Tea Time at Reverie: Teasenz’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls

I have a confession to make – actually, two confessions. First, I adore the scent of jasmine. Regardless of whether it’s coming from a perfume, body wash, or candle, the lilting and exotic fragrance draws me under its spell every time. Second, I love jasmine tea, and not just because of how it smells. It’s an acquired taste compared to other floral-and-green teas, but soulful and satisfying once it grows on you.

teasenzlogo

While any kind of jasmine tea puts a smile on my face, I want to refine my tastes and find the most delicious types of jasmine tea out there. So, I was thrilled to receive a sample of Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Chinese tea retailer Teasenz. This blend is made of green tea and jasmine blossoms grown in China’s Fujian province and scented together for several nights, then hand-rolled into delicate, pea-sized balls that resemble the tea’s namesake. And after numerous cups, I can attest that this hypnotic infusion is an absolute pleasure from the first steep to the final sip.

The Basics

teasenzdragonpearls

Teasenz’s Description: “Perfumy, hand-rolled jasmine tea made from the most tender tea leaves and best Fujian jasmines. When added to hot water, the pearls majestically unfurl, filling the room with sweet jasmine scent and flavor.”

Ingredients: Jasmine blossoms, green tea leaves

Steeping Instructions: Use 1 tsp of tea for every 3 oz of water. Heat water to under boiling (175 degrees Fahrenheit / 80 degrees Celsius) and steep for 1 minute. Add 30 seconds to 1 minute for each additional brew.

Additional Brews?: Up to 3 times

Bagged or Loose Leaf?: Loose leaf

Caffeine Level: Medium

The Experience

Part of the appeal of Jasmine Dragon Pearls is the dry leaf. The olive green, silver-streaked pearls are so neatly rounded that it’s hard not to be impressed by the deftness of their harvester’s skills. When brewed, the rolled leaves uncurl and open slowly, like fingers beckoning you to watch. Then, of course, there’s the jasmine fragrance. Teasenz’s is already present before brewing; the exotic scent floats out of the package each time I open it. Not too strong, nor too subtle, creating the perfect balance for both long-time jasmine lovers and newbies to jasmine tea.

Following Teasenz’s instructions, I use about 1 teaspoon of Jasmine Dragon Pearls and steep it in just-under-boiling water for 1 minute. It doesn’t sound like much time, but the results douse all skepticism. The pale gold cup gives off a jasmine bouquet that’s richer than the dry leaf yet sweet and calming. What I smell is also what I taste. Each sip blossoms with the right amount of jasmine flavor, an enticing smoothness, and a pleasantly grassy finish.

At 90 seconds, the second steep (about 90 seconds) of Jasmine Dragon Pearls is just as excellent as the first one. The signature floral perfume and flavor still tantalize my senses. Steep #3 (2 minutes) takes on a bolder yellow color, and the green tea’s vegetal undertones mingle more evenly with the slightly weaker jasmine essence that’s still delicious. Even as this tea evolves cup after cup, balance continues to the key.

By the fifth steep (about 3 minutes), the tea offers a more grassy taste with a light and pleasant bitterness. The jasmine fragrance is gone by now, which I had expected. What I didn’t expect, though, was that hints of jasmine’s distinctive sweetness would still peek through when I roll the liquid around on my tongue. I prefer the earlier brews of Jasmine Dragon Pearls, but for a final brew this is a nice surprise.

The Aftertaste

I honestly can’t think of a reason why I shouldn’t recommend Teasenz’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls highly. This tea possesses all of the qualities a jasmine tea lover could want: a tidy and aromatic presentation when dry, a mesmerizing brewing experience to watch, and the distinctive, enticing jasmine flavor and aroma that’s perfectly balanced and unexpectedly long-lasting. It’s delectable, engaging, and – dare I say it? – sensual. Yes, there’s such a thing as sensual tea. Even if you don’t typically drink jasmine tea, you ought to reconsider. And with a competitive price of $9.95 USD for a 2.5-oz (70 gram) package, Teasenz’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls is a bargain you can afford – and a beverage you can’t afford to miss!

Grade: 10 / 10

Recommended For:

  • Tea Drinkers Who: Like jasmine, floral, or green teas
  • Time of Day and Year: Any time of year, from mid-morning through evening
  • Possible Book Pairings: The personality of Jasmine Dragon Pearls reminds me of female protagonists with a delicate exterior and a dynamic set of skills and attributes. Try this tea with Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study (YA fantasy), Kristin Cashore’s Fire (YA fantasy), or Michelle Moran’s Cleopatra’s Daughter (historical fiction). Jasmine tea’s soothing qualities also compliment meditation, new age, and self-help books quite nicely.

You can purchase Jasmine Dragon Pearls directly from Teasenz here.

*       *      *

In addition to being a tea enthusiast, Sara Letourneau is an avid reader and a writer who… well, enjoys writing! Currently she’s working on a novel, and she writes book reviews and articles on the craft of writing. She’s also a published poet with works available in various print and online publications. Visit Sara at her personal blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you’re a tea seller and would like to have one of your products reviewed here, please visit the Contributors page for contact information.

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Review of “Horrorstor” Haunted Swedish Kitsch Furniture Book, by: Grady Hendrix

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Used for the facilitation of monstrous infant deliveries, since these are almost a common trend (of monstrous pregnancies in horror movies). I give you the “birthing chair!”

When I left this book sitting around my coffee table, my sister remarked with incredulity, “What has happened to the Ikea catalog?” as she paged through it with questions percolating in her head how Ikea could have created such a mockery of their own kitsch-infested, funky, invigorating furniture catalog of the finest in Swedish furniture. Her questions were all settled, though, when I informed her it was Quirk Book’s newest satirical, campy, fun horror story, that takes place in Ikea’s fictitious competitor store.

Yet, the furniture store of this story is an inventive amalgamation of all the odds and ends of our favorite Swedish Furniture store, Ikea. The story begins with a mysterious stain on one of the funky couches (characteristically stiff, of course, as many Ikea chairs are apt to be), and that sets off an exciting, fun mystery that has all the elements of your perennial cinema house horror story, with fun characters who playfully represent all the cliched personalities of retail stores.

It is a fun, page-turning adventure, and will be enjoyed most by people, who love satirical horror romps, in the style of Cabin in the Woods.  If you are expecting something more cerebral, you may want to look elsewhere, for Horrorstor succeeds as a great addition to the fun genre of horror comedy., or satirical horror. Sometimes, the book’s characters feel too stilted, and the dialogue can be a bit generic and dry at times, when the clever rubs at Ikea have worn thin. But, the book is thoroughly enjoyable, regardless of some of these not-so great elements that sometimes detracts from the charm and novelty of the story.

So, if you’re in the mood for deceiving people in your household (who regularly peruses Ikea catalogs while eating), you should buy this book, read and laugh up a storm at all the witty jokes about Ikea and horror conventionalities, and then leave the book  lingering on your coffee table. It is the best way to spread the infectious fun of reading this book! Even better, leave the copy on a cheap Lack table, sitting unattended in your house, until the next curious passbyer in your home picks it up to read.

Be sure to check out the perfectly quirky, camp-infested trailer for this novel!!

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Time’s Passing Reflections Blog Tour Day 6: Review of book, written by Paula Tupper

Supported through the efforts of A Bibliophile’s Workshop-editorial/publicity services for self-published writers-  the first inaugural Blog Tour is here. For this first blog tour, Indulge your mind with some lovely yarns of poetry, perfect as an antidote to life’s trials and tribulations!!

Celebrating the Poetic Legacy of Thelma Barselow, one poem at a time….

Time’s Passing Reflections Blog Tour (September 14, 2014-September 20, 2014)

Like & Share these posts with a wide pool of people, to be eligible to win a special  literary prize…. more details about such a prize can be found below!

Amazon/Goodreads

Capturing the vivid intimacy of journaling combined with the photographic realism of  rich poetry, Thelma Barselow’s collection of poetry is a volume of poetry that any serious reader of poetry will not want to miss!!

Synopsis, taken from the Amazon product page:

“This collection of poetry spans the years and encompasses a lifetime of observations, broken down into simple, yet elegant and sometimes whimsical poems. Some of the poems are religious, others are merely soulful.

Thelma has spent her life caring for others, starting with her children and her husband. That career included caring for the children of others, and ultimately, taking care of Alzheimer’s patients which she did until her recent retirement.

She has many stories to tell and I hope that someday she will tell them all. Until then, please enjoy this collection of her words, her thoughts, her passing reflections.”

This is a poetry collection, which Anne Rice made sure to buy five copies for friends and family:

Anne share

Today is the last day of the blog tour for Thelma’s Barselow’s Time’s Passing Reflections, and I thank Todd Barselow for, again, granting permission for his mother’s poetry book to be featured on this blog tour.

I’m ending this blog tour with a review, written by one of my blog’s numerous contributors (all with their own distinctive writing style), and Paula offers a very thoughtful, critical review, which reflects the fact that Time’s Passing Reflections is a work worthy of serious reading. Many people will come away with a gamut of different feelings, in response to a work of poetry, and it’s A Bibliophile’s Reverie’s goal to always celebrate freedom of thought, expression when it comes to reviews being featured, even for blog tours.

Review, Written by Blog Contributor Paula Tupper

In accordance with FTC guidelines for bloggers and endorsements, I would like to clarify that the books reviewed by me are either purchased/borrowed by me, or provided by the publisher/author free of charge. I am neither compensated for my reviews nor are my opinions influenced in any way by the avenues in which I obtain my materials.

  • Print Length:45 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:1494710137
  • Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited
  • Publisher:Reflections Publishing; First edition (January 5, 2014)
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language:English

Reviewed by Paula Tupper  September 20, 2014

Reviewing poetry can be very much like wandering through a thorn forest.  Like much Art with a capital “A”, poetry comes in many shapes and forms, with varying levels of artistic achievement.  The wonderful thing about poetry is that even those verses that are not high art can still find an audience that will appreciate and cherish them.  This is what makes reviewing it so difficult and dangerous, because when readers love a particular work, any criticism sounds to them like an attack and they then gird themselves for bloody battle.  I anticipate that kind of reaction to this review, because I have to analyze Barselow’s work on several levels, and the results are not always favorable.

First, it is necessary to determine how to categorize Barselow’s poems.  Generally, we look to form, style, tone, philosophy, school and subject matter.  At a certain level of accomplishment, a poet will attempt to use language to reach an emotion, a description, or a narrative that is enhanced by the use of poetic conventions.  It is the same as an artist who knows how to create depth, dimension, and light with a particular brush stroke or tint.  The poet’s work follows the elemental categories, giving the reader structure.  Unlike prose, poetry deviates from a simple straightforward recitation of facts.  It relies on imagery, assonance, and a rhythm all in conjunction with subject matter, presenting a lyrical puzzle that gives the reader a sense of fulfillment when they experience the poem.

Barselow’s poetry does not easily fit into a serious art category.  If you try to classify it, you will find that it is much more a freewheeling form, something that appears to burst from Barselow’s pen without any real connection to poetic conventions.  Her themes are almost epistolary, addressing the reader intimately, and asking them to listen to her thoughts, but they do not take the general form of an epistle.  Her philosophical approach is primarily romantic religious, which gives credence to that apostrophe style of address…”Dear reader,” whether to God or her fellow Man.  The form of the poems is free verse, with a leaning towards the regional, bucolic, or pastoral.  Her language is primarily vernacular, reminiscent of regional poets like Frost, but where he attempts to rise above regional unity and reaches towards universalism, Barselow becomes sometimes mired in her location. There are some nice moments when Barselow transcends the everyday and takes it to a greater mystical level, but most stop flat on the obvious plane and leaves the reader with nothing more than a mundane musing.

In “My Summer Place of Dreams” this inability to rise above the refrain of a pop song is painfully evident.  The descriptions are clichéd.  There is nothing new or emotional about describing summer dreaming as when “days are hot, long, and steaming.”  In fact it sounds suspiciously like a 1969 summer beach song, and everyone has heard it before repeated with each new year.   Similarly “…bright golden days with nothing to do.” Gives the reader nothing surprising, nothing deeper than the surface words.  It may trigger memories of similar summers, but not in any new fresh way.  It is not the poem that is causing the emotional response, it is the reader filling in the picture with what they are pulling from themselves.  That is a pleasant way to pass the time, but it is not the art of poetry; it is only in the form of a poem.

Poems that are works of art avoid trite, stereotyped expressions, or ideas that have no originality or freshness.  Surf roaring, days with nothing to do, pulling out memories, all are stock phrases.  Poetry is meant to excite your imagination and engage a creative process of thought.  You can’t do that if the images in the poem are mere repetitions of what we have heard many, many times before you.

This is further complicated in this poem by the self-conscious “poetic” language.  “To see in the distance a horizon as fair.”  follows no conversational form in modern usage.  “To dream of distant lands and what lay there.” is a fragment, and a particularly unmusical one in its repetition of distant so soon after distance.  The construction “and what lay there” is another clumsy forced poetic form.

Her feeling for meter is flawed, with extra syllables disrupting the flow of the poem, causing it to stumble in “I always come back to” and “I’ll always call home.”  The number of feet in the last eleven lines is particularly erratic, almost as if she did not read it out loud before deciding it was completed.

The clumsy meter is also evident in “Felines” in “You’ll get there eventually, you know.”  The forced language follows with “All cats really are smart you see”  where the meter and stresses interrupt the flow.  It has some very nice moments, especially the last two lines, but again, the poem grates on the ear, as if it had not been read out loud to check for its musicality
“Mr. Thom and Buttercup” is one of the worst offenders.  It is as if the poet so wanted to fit her story into a certain meter that she reversed sentence order, added interjections like “believe you me” simply as padding, and ended the poem with a dissonant conversational statement from the cat in a poor attempt to echo Old Possum and Eliot.

“It Ain’t Southern” is shallow, little more than a joke punchline.  Again, Barselow interjects filler like “you see!” simply to pad out a line.  It offers nothing deeper than a comical view of regional speech choices.

Barselow’s poetry cannot be judged as high art. It is too lacking in editing and polishing to be the level of work that makes it worth serious analysis.  The rest of the poems in the chapbook suffer from the same flaws as the ones I have mentioned, and since this is their final form, no benefit would come from dissecting them line by line, rhyme by rhyme, or cliché by cliché.

This does not mean it is not poetry and that people cannot enjoy it.  Her poetry is more appropriately classified as doggerel rather than lyrical.  This is not meant as an insult to Barselow or to those who like her work. The term doggerel simply means unsophisticated, basic poetry, often created on a whim or without great consideration.  It means the poet did not sit down and struggle to decide if their form should be aubade or villanelle or cinquain, if their school will be realism, imagism, or New Formalism.  Poetry, to quote Wordsworth, is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion remembered in tranquility.  There is no denying the feeling and emotion in Barselow’s poems.

Her poetry amuses many, and touches chords with some of her readers, who identify with her musings.  I particularly enjoyed the wry humor in her poem “The Secretary.”  It was short, but pithy, with a nice twist to the narrative, and a strong image formed by the everyday terms of filing and rejection. It is one of her best pieces, and if all had this sharp polish, you would have to admire her skill.  Her religious poems read like late Victorian or early Edwardian poetry, a style that has been unfashionable, rather like reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. You can appreciate the story, but the struggle with the archaic style reduces its modern effectiveness.  On the whole, I would not recommend Barselow’s work to serious students of poetry.  However, if you enjoy Edgar Guest, Julia Ward Howe, or Walter Savage Landor, then you would appreciate Barselow’s work as well.

Special Giveaway:

Enter below by clicking this enchanting photo of Station Eleven, with a mugful of Station Eleven-inspired tea, to be redirected to the Rafflecopter App, allowing you to enter this contest

    Station Eleven is an excellent, darkly dramatic, slightly sardonic, piece of writing, meditating on the vicissitudes of life, as seen through the lives of various human beings exposed to apocalyptic trauma, and how art itself helps salvage us, give us a reason to claim “mere survival is insufficient.”

*Only those living in the US/Canada are eligible to enter this contest!*

If you have any questions, concerns, about this blog tour, and anything else connected back with A Bibliophile’s Workshopplease do not hesitate to email our center of our operations at the following email address:
bibliophilesworkshop@gmail.com

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Time’s Passing Reflection Day Five: Percy Shelley

Supported through the efforts of A Bibliophile’s Workshop-editorial/publicity services for self-published writers-  the first inaugural Blog Tour is here. For this first blog tour, Indulge your mind with some lovely yarns of poetry, perfect as an antidote to life’s trials and tribulations!!

Celebrating the Poetic Legacy of Thelma Barselow, one poem at a time….

Time’s Passing Reflections Blog Tour (September 14, 2014-September 20, 2014)

Like & Share these posts with a wide pool of people, to be eligible to win a special  literary prize…. more details about such a prize can be found below!

Amazon/Goodreads

Capturing the vivid intimacy of journaling combined with the photographic realism of  rich poetry, Thelma Barselow’s collection of poetry is a volume of poetry that any serious reader of poetry will not want to miss!!

Synopsis, taken from the Amazon product page:

“This collection of poetry spans the years and encompasses a lifetime of observations, broken down into simple, yet elegant and sometimes whimsical poems. Some of the poems are religious, others are merely soulful.

Thelma has spent her life caring for others, starting with her children and her husband. That career included caring for the children of others, and ultimately, taking care of Alzheimer’s patients which she did until her recent retirement.

She has many stories to tell and I hope that someday she will tell them all. Until then, please enjoy this collection of her words, her thoughts, her passing reflections.”

This is a poetry collection, which Anne Rice made sure to buy five copies for friends and family:

Anne share
Poem-of-the Day:

**If you have an eidetic memory (the type of memory that lets you recall images and sounds without mnemonic tricks), you may be able to memorize fragments of these poems. Many of the poems featured here will be short, highly visceral,as are most of the poems contained in Thelma Barselow’s poem collection- Time’s Passing Reflections

   Today’s featured poem is written by one of my absolute favorite poets, Percy Shelley (husband of Mary Shelley), a poet I was introduced to during my undergraduate years. His poems are commonly very long, so this poem aptly titled “A Lament,” is one of his shorter poems.

It is a sobering reflection on time, aging, the weariness of realizing that death is inevitable. It’s a wonderful, short poem, which encapsulates the existential struggle that sometimes occurs right vaguely under all our thoughts.

A Lament:

O World! O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more -Oh, never more!

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more -Oh, never more!

What does this poem evoke for you? Leave your comments below, with your own deeply inspired thoughts of what you think about this poem, and what images it conjures in your mind?

Stay tuned tomorrow for another poem-of-the-day, and other tantalizing features(special Time’s Passing Reflections tea; an in-depth review of a book by this blog’s own poetry connoisseur), as part of the Time’s Passing Reflections Blog Tour, featuring a new post every day of this entire week

Special Giveaway:

Enter below by clicking this enchanting photo of Station Eleven, with a mugful of Station Eleven-inspired tea, to be redirected to the Rafflecopter App, allowing you to enter this contest

    Station Eleven is an excellent, darkly dramatic, slightly sardonic, piece of writing, meditating on the vicissitudes of life, as seen through the lives of various human beings exposed to apocalyptic trauma, and how art itself helps salvage us, give us a reason to claim “mere survival is insufficient.”

*Only those living in the US/Canada are eligible to enter this contest!*

If you have any questions, concerns, about this blog tour, and anything else connected back with A Bibliophile’s Workshopplease do not hesitate to email our center of our operations at the following email address:
bibliophilesworkshop@gmail.com

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