2 out of 4 stars
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Love Calls and Roundelays by WYN is a collection of poetry and photographs. WYN is the pseudonym for Irwin Shishko.
This collection of poetry spans several different topics. Most poems are short and able to fit on a single page. The Table of Contents breaks the poems into sections, but those sections aren’t separated when reading through the book. Topics for poems include the author’s wife, a cat, a New York City subway, and a lost friend. Some are lighthearted while others are more serious. The cover describes this as “a potpourri of poetry and photo art.” I feel that is an accurate description of this book.
The quality of this paperback’s printing ruined most of the visual appeal. The front and back cover sport beautiful and dynamic photographs. Unfortunately, all the pictures in the inside are grainy, blurry, and in black and white. It could be argued that the lack of color was an intentional style choice. For a few of the images, such as “Sharpshooter,” I might agree with you. However, I feel the focus of most of the pictures is lost without the vibrant colors of life. For example, “Parked Dog” has an extremely dark dog that almost looks like a shadow figure. I was flipping the page before I realized there was a little boy in the background. Had this picture been in color, he would have stood out against the fence and grass and the dog probably wouldn’t look so menacing.
It’s hard to talk about editing mistakes when it comes to a book of poems. So many things that would be wrong in a manuscript can be considered stylistic expressions when it comes to poetry. I didn’t find any misspelled words, at least. The author tends not to use commas, though, and that made it a little harder to read some of the verses. As I got farther into the book, I noticed that more and more punctuation was omitted and words stopped being capitalized. It was an interesting progression.
My favorite poem was “A Poem Is…” The descriptions and analogies were so lively. It was truly a unique and creative explanation of what poems can be to a person. My least favorite poem was “Renaissance Man.” The lack of punctuation, especially commas, made it so hard to read. I had to reread several lines just to make sense of it. Certain lines were surprisingly creative, such as “safaried shot elephant and lion/with his N-90 rapid fire Nikon.” I wasn’t expecting the man to shoot something on a safari with anything other than a gun. However, that didn’t make up for the lack of punctuation.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. The quality of printing was bad enough for me to take away a star. The other star was removed because of the lack of commas. There are a few places where a double-space takes the place of a comma, but I feel this is a poor substitute. The poems were creative and descriptive enough to save this book from being a total waste. This collection could easily be enjoyed by almost all ages. It’s not something young children would enjoy, but there isn’t anything that’s inappropriate or graphic. I would recommend it as light reading for poetry fans.
Love Calls and Roundelays
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