Winter, Lust and Wonder by James Mahoney

This is a review of a book a blogger friend of mine, who goes by DarkJade on WordPress, had written.

~*~

Rated: 5 stars

I’d recommend this to: Persons around 16 to 18 and up,

depending really on how well you generally comprehend poetry.

… What candor, What Nerve

What unbeknownst Verve

Will Guide me through these Woods

I Drink Cool Water, I eye the Storm

Begin the Written Word

~ a favourite line taken from Halls of the Written Word

~

Don’t be fooled by its modest cover, what lies within its pages are words of a riptide of what seems to constitute almost every spectrum of emotion. Initially, I couldn’t understand what he was saying, what his words had meant. How and why Mr.Mahoney had strung them together the way he had. What were they trying to tell me? I had to put it down for some time to clear my mind to properly grasp what I was reading.

But there was one poem that stuck with me, from how far I’d read, the one I felt some connection to was A Grip on the Darkness. It began on this note of absolute loneliness, devoid of any happiness and perhaps dwelling a little on the past. It progressed to tell of “Translucent Hopes …” and “Memories of some Greater Thing …” and ends resting on a more light of heart state of mind, “Breathe … In New Hope … Breathe Out The Strength you know you hold …” inspiring one to call upon the glowing orb of hope, no matter how small, to stoke its light into a blazing horizon of opportunities. Of course, this is the way I interpret it.

Then one night, about a week ago when I was supposed to be studying, Winter, Lust and Wonder called out to me somehow. Actually for some time there was a voice at the back of my mind nagging me to to pick it up but I was preoccupied with other thoughts. Apparently my empty stomach that night dissolved some barrier and in no time my kindle was in my hands with the first page patiently staring up at me.

I don’t know  what had opened the shutters of my mind’s eye but as I read from the beginning once again I now can see what meanings lies behind his clever metaphors. I admit some bits here and there eluded my understanding but I didn’t beat myself up for I know from experience that a poet’s words are dear to him, he allows parts of himself release from the chambers of emotions within. Through words and their devices, a poet’s innermost thoughts manifest.

To the rest of the world, a couple or more of James’ poems might befuddle, our deductions and speculations might differ from what he had intended to convey. This is understandable because only he can know what he’s written, perhaps even he himself doesn’t completely understand but lets the words spill forth as that big soup of feelings inside him stirs.

So you can’t expect to unravel the words even though you might have experienced a similar fate. However, I had a little more than an inkling what James had gone though simply by taking the time to absorb the lines, read between them, attempted to dismantle them and strung them back together and draw my conclusions. What I feel is important in any work of poetry is that is must be able to make me feel and that is what James had done, though Winter, Lust and Wonder, exploiting his words with care allowed me to do and I enjoyed the experience.

The sense of helplessness, love, despair, hope, longing, etc. were his but his words relayed the echoes of his emotions. I felt them. I don’t believe that there’s anything I love more when it comes to reading – any book – than to have that piece of writing affecting me so.  Particularly his thoughts in Japan- Compassion dedicate to the people ravaged by the tsunami a couple years back, pulled some heartstrings directly wired to my tear ducts. A few of my other favourites include Halls of The Written Word, Moon, Blue, Despair, Bleed and I Walk Through Thee. Simply put: I loved this book. I think you would too.

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