Official Review: Shadows by William Stephen Edwards

Use this section to discuss drama books and poetry books. Drama includes plays but not novels. This includes work by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Miller etc. Poetry anthologies can also go here.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3070
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Are You Jesus? by Joshua A McClure

Official Review: Shadows by William Stephen Edwards

Post by Cecilia_L » 01 Aug 2019, 15:24

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Shadows" by William Stephen Edwards.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Shadows by William Stephen Edwards is a diverse collection featuring poetry about a range of topics, including love, relationships, illness, suffering, nature, seasons, spirituality, and war.

The book spans almost 300 pages, and Edwards is a poet who seems comfortable writing from different perspectives. In several of his poems such as "Black Beauty" and "We Were Soldiers,” Edwards shares poignant reflections on Vietnam, while"Hanna Blue" is a heartfelt message to his daughter. In others, he ventures into the spiritual and mythical, writing about Jesus, Hercules, and Xena.

The forms of poetry contained in the book are almost as varied as the topics Edwards writes about. Be it Middle English prose, free verse, or haiku, he is adventurous when it comes to style. The tone and themes of Edwards' poetry are reflective of the seasons in his life. As a veteran, his poems about the war express anger and remorse. During his career as a speech pathologist, the poems about patients are characterized by compassion, while the poems he writes about relationships convey joy, longing, and sorrow.

I particularly liked "Cradle," although the poem is a single stanza, it evoked both a visual and emotional response in me. Based on the title, one might assume the poem was about a baby's cradle or childhood, but instead, it literally described the anticipation of retiring to bed when weary. Edwards compared the movement of the sheet to a billowing parachute in a manner that I could visualize and found relaxing and soothing. Below is the final line of the poem:

"It sweeps away care with a gentle wind
And the darkness is a cradle once again."

On the other hand, I disliked the poems featuring forms of Middle English vocabulary. Although Edwards seemed partial to words such as "'ore” and “hie,” I noticed an editor's notes on a handful of the poems, questioning their use. In response, Edwards specified his choice of the Middle English word rather than replacing it.

Also, the punctuation is inconsistent from poem to poem. I realize that punctuation is sometimes intentionally omitted in poetry. However, if two stanzas are similarly formatted, and only one lacks punctuation, it seems more like an oversight and less intentional. Overall, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. It will appeal to poetry lovers, especially those who enjoy eclectic collections. However, as the book contains profanity including a racial slur and sexual content, it is intended for a mature audience.

***

UPDATE FROM REVIEWER: Since this review was first published, the author has removed an ethnic slur that was included in a poem about Vietnam. I found no other offensive content; readers who initially passed on the book may wish to reconsider in light of this update.

******
Shadows
View: on Bookshelves

User avatar
Michelle Fred
Posts: 232
Joined: 19 Mar 2019, 05:19
Favorite Book: Sugar & Spice
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 26
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-michelle-fred.html
Latest Review: Who Told You That You Were Naked? by William Combs

Post by Michelle Fred » 02 Aug 2019, 07:25

Poetry is growing on me, however, I still do not enjoy all forms of it. Though I have a feeling I will enjoy some of Edwards's poems, the profanity and racial slurs contained is giving me second thoughts. Thanks for your review.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3070
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Are You Jesus? by Joshua A McClure

Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Aug 2019, 14:13

Michelle Fred wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 07:25
Poetry is growing on me, however, I still do not enjoy all forms of it. Though I have a feeling I will enjoy some of Edwards's poems, the profanity and racial slurs contained is giving me second thoughts. Thanks for your review.
I appreciate your comment.

User avatar
mmm17
Posts: 337
Joined: 23 Dec 2018, 09:24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 67
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mmm17.html
Latest Review: Killing History by L.K. Samuels

Post by mmm17 » 02 Aug 2019, 18:40

I do enjoy poetry, but racial slurs are a deal breaker for me. :shock: Thank you for an excellent review, though. :D

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3070
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Are You Jesus? by Joshua A McClure

Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Aug 2019, 19:59

mmm17 wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 18:40
I do enjoy poetry, but racial slurs are a deal breaker for me. :shock: Thank you for an excellent review, though. :D
You're welcome. Thanks for your comment.

User avatar
angiejack456
Posts: 379
Joined: 10 Jan 2019, 11:37
Currently Reading: What She Knew
Bookshelf Size: 36
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-angiejack456.html
Latest Review: Arsenic and Old Men by Glenn Ickler

Post by angiejack456 » 08 Aug 2019, 07:10

While I am beginning to enjoy poetry, I think the eclectic nature of this collection might deter me. I would prefer some sort of theme. Excellent review!

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3070
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Are You Jesus? by Joshua A McClure

Post by Cecilia_L » 08 Aug 2019, 11:37

angiejack456 wrote:
08 Aug 2019, 07:10
While I am beginning to enjoy poetry, I think the eclectic nature of this collection might deter me. I would prefer some sort of theme. Excellent review!
Thanks for your comment, Angie.

User avatar
Brendan Donaghy
Posts: 457
Joined: 18 Jan 2019, 13:14
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 90
Currently Reading: Small Great Things
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-brendan-donaghy.html
Latest Review: The Death Dealers by David Griffith

Post by Brendan Donaghy » 08 Aug 2019, 13:11

I'd like to have a look at this one, if I get the chance. One of the good things about poetry collections, I think, is that even if you don't like every single poem the writer puts in front of you, it's often still possible to find one or two gems. I think that's what I'm picking up from your review. Thanks for the update too, which will help people decide if they want to have a look.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3070
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Are You Jesus? by Joshua A McClure

Post by Cecilia_L » 08 Aug 2019, 14:36

Brendan Donaghy wrote:
08 Aug 2019, 13:11
I'd like to have a look at this one, if I get the chance. One of the good things about poetry collections, I think, is that even if you don't like every single poem the writer puts in front of you, it's often still possible to find one or two gems. I think that's what I'm picking up from your review. Thanks for the update too, which will help people decide if they want to have a look.
That's a great point, Brendan, and I agree. There are usually certain poems in a collection that speak to me more than others. I appreciate your comment.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 8715
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 60
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 291
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Rainbow by Lisa Silva

Post by kandscreeley » 08 Aug 2019, 18:28

300 pages of poetry? I just couldn't do it. I love that there's a variety of styles which includes middle English. It seems like a great one for poetry lovers. Thanks for a great review.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
Latest Review: Rainbow by Lisa Silva

kdstrack
Posts: 3373
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 80
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: The Last Bush Pilots
Bookshelf Size: 263
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: Our Time Will Come by Jean Gallant Marcoux

Post by kdstrack » 08 Aug 2019, 21:17

The quote you included from "Cradle" is beautiful. As adults, we don't think about how our bed cradles us every night. The author seems to have a wide range of themes. Your review does a thorough job of informing readers of what to expect from this tome of poetry. Great review!

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3070
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Are You Jesus? by Joshua A McClure

Post by Cecilia_L » 09 Aug 2019, 07:23

kandscreeley wrote:
08 Aug 2019, 18:28
300 pages of poetry? I just couldn't do it. I love that there's a variety of styles which includes middle English. It seems like a great one for poetry lovers. Thanks for a great review.
Haha, I understand. Thanks for your comment.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3070
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Are You Jesus? by Joshua A McClure

Post by Cecilia_L » 09 Aug 2019, 07:24

kdstrack wrote:
08 Aug 2019, 21:17
The quote you included from "Cradle" is beautiful. As adults, we don't think about how our bed cradles us every night. The author seems to have a wide range of themes. Your review does a thorough job of informing readers of what to expect from this tome of poetry. Great review!
Thank you. :tiphat:

User avatar
esp1975
Posts: 1107
Joined: 21 May 2019, 17:00
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 67
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-esp1975.html
Latest Review: I Can See Peace by Julie Penshorn

Post by esp1975 » 09 Aug 2019, 13:40

I have as a goal to read more poetry this year. This sounds like a book that I might pick up. Thanks for the great review.

User avatar
Ellylion
Posts: 320
Joined: 01 Mar 2019, 15:33
Favorite Book: The Altitude Journals
Currently Reading: Mythic Worlds and the One You Can Believe In
Bookshelf Size: 25
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ellylion.html
Latest Review: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance by Morris Rollins

Post by Ellylion » 09 Aug 2019, 13:52

How interesting that the collection even includes a haiku style poetry! I would like to check this one out, I appreciate poetry in any form. :) Thank you for a great review!

Post Reply

Return to “Drama and Poetry Books”