Review of Lost & Found by Paul McGovern, of Subtle Entropy, a blog:
I love the concept of dualism, the two sidedness of everything that exists. It is one of the fundamental principles on which the world in that we live is based on. The rise & fall, the ups and downs, the good and the bad. As far as I’m concerned nothing is one thing or another, rather everything is in a state of perpetual flux. Lost and Found then is poetic dualism, a contradiction that explores the darker side of humanity and the subsequent flip side.
The author, Violet Yates, wrote the collection over a number of years, quite often at low points in her life. The poems conjure up images of isolation, desperation and despair. It often makes for bleak reading but there is an uncompromising truth at the core of every line and I for one felt moved and touched by what I read. I have gone through my own fair share of emotional turmoil and reading these poems I empathized with the harsh realities some of us have to face.
Each of the poems is accompanied by a yearly date entry identifying when it was written. This serves to reinforce the progression of the author over time. The book certainly encompasses her personal journey and one can identify abstract grief transforming into a perspective of hope. It makes for very good reading instilling hope in the reader while illustrating the personal depths that Violet experienced. There are many stand out moments, Pain from 2004 is just one:
I told myself:
Never let yourself feel again.
So why did I?
Wanted to feel the love without the pain…
Exquisite though it may be.
Still too awful to be perceived by anyone but me.
It’s personal, beautiful and eloquent if such things can be described as such.”Thinking of you as I lie alone in this room. Trying to blot out all feelings of doom.” High Hopes, suggests that the writing process perhaps offered some degree of catharsis or outlet for pain and in turn offers some hope to the reader that similar solace may be found in their own lives. Reading the collection I can’t help but feel reminded of Sylvia Plath. I don’t like comparing any writer with another because each has their own unique style and approach but I think it’s fair to say that comparisons can be made. I could award no higher accolade; Plath’s poetry remains the benchmark for me in many respects.
Lost and Found is the most engaging collection of poetry I have read since discovering the art form at school, it appeals to me on so many levels, not least in its exploration of the human condition when faced with adversity. Violet may have gone through a lot to stimulate the creation of these poems but what she has produced is something beautiful to be proud of. Redemption in conflict, dualism.
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