Official Review: Poetry by Nicholas Pak

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gen_g
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Latest Review: Poetry by Nicholas Pak

Official Review: Poetry by Nicholas Pak

Post by gen_g » 09 Aug 2019, 04:57

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Poetry" by Nicholas Pak.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Poetry: The Four Lives is the title of Nicholas Pak’s first, and only, book of poems. A highly introspective collection, it covers a wide spectrum of emotions, such as happiness, hope, love, grief, anger, and despair. These poems are Pak’s beloved creations, i.e., the written products of his life experiences as someone who is suffering from cystic fibrosis (which is a genetic disease that we currently have no cure for).

Weighing in at only 98 pages, Poetry: The Four Lives is a very short but poignant read. In fact, knowing that Pak succumbed to his condition before being able to publish his book (his mother, Colleen Marshall, is now publishing this book on his behalf) only amplified the rawness of emotion present in these poems.

Pak is certainly a talented poet – his ability to draw out in the reader a variety of emotions is unparalleled, and this left me absolutely astounded. In addition, he does not require specific background contexts in order to put his points across. What I mean by this is that Pak possesses an uncanny ability to link one’s sense of the mundane to the intangible. To better illustrate, in “Legend”, Pak compares the fame and renown musicians (such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon) receive from people to the literal stars themselves. In other words, by drawing a link between these two senses, Pak has inextricably connected the transient nature of fame, of short human lives (which are pinpricks in the long course of history), to the steady and unchanging permanence of never-ending natural cycles that make up Nature itself.

Furthermore, Pak is not afraid to explore his own emotional psyche, even in the face of a debilitating disease like cystic fibrosis. Poems like “Shadow’s Road”, “Bleed”, “Now, and Then Again”, and “The Sky is Still Blue” all possess a common thread of grief. He unhesitatingly examines his own mindset and is brave enough to face all of his misgivings and fears. I found this both inspiring and impressive – if I were in Pak’s shoes, I highly doubt my own ability to portray the same level of courage that he has shown in his collection. Moreover, I do think that Pak’s display of fortitude will inspire and enlighten many.

Nonetheless, the collection would vastly benefit from some organisation and structure. Currently, the poems are not arranged in any order/theme; hence, the reader’s emotions unavoidably fluctuate heavily. One poem could be about love, and the very next one could be about grief. Personally, from an emotional perspective, this fluctuation can be rather exhausting – it would be good to arrange these poems according to various emotional themes like anger, hope, love, et cetera.

There are also a few minor grammar errors present, such as missing possessive apostrophes. However, they do not detract from the flow and comprehensibility of the book. To conclude, I rate Nicholas Pak’s Poetry: The Four Lives 3 out of 4 stars, with one star subtracted due to the lack of organisation. It is a highly ruminative read, and it is definitely one that would help readers look deeper into their own psyches to hopefully engage in self-reflection. Lovers of poetry and those who desire to further develop their emotional maturity would definitely love this book.

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Post by esp1975 » 09 Aug 2019, 13:43

What a daunting task for a parent, to share with the world your child's poetry after the child has passed. To open yourself and him up to that. I think I understand the lack of organization, which probably means the Mom should really have an editor helping her in this daunting task. But I am glad she made the choice to share the poems, because they sound amazing. I hope to have a chance to read this.

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Post by Intuitive Catalyst » 09 Aug 2019, 13:50

What a beauty-full memoire and something to treasure.

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Post by Juliet+1 » 09 Aug 2019, 13:58

Thanks for this review. I'm really interested in poetry collections and how the writers create a "flow." Does 98 pages mean 98 unique poems or were some of the poems multi-page?

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Post by unamilagra » 09 Aug 2019, 22:38

Wow, what an impactful collection. I love that the author's mother chose to publish the poems on his behalf after he passed away. Hopefully she will take your feedback and work on the organization a bit. Great review!

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Post by Wambui-nj » 10 Aug 2019, 04:01

It is so sad to know that the author never got to see his work published. Thanks to the mother for taking that step. Anyway, sounds like an emotional and great book to read. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by Prisallen » 10 Aug 2019, 08:05

It is so sad that he had this horrible disease. I really feel for his mother, and I'm glad she was able to publish his poetry as they seem wonderful. Thank you for a great review!

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Latest Review: Poetry by Nicholas Pak

Post by gen_g » 10 Aug 2019, 09:32

esp1975 wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 13:43
What a daunting task for a parent, to share with the world your child's poetry after the child has passed. To open yourself and him up to that. I think I understand the lack of organization, which probably means the Mom should really have an editor helping her in this daunting task. But I am glad she made the choice to share the poems, because they sound amazing. I hope to have a chance to read this.
I wholly agree, it is a massive task, and I can't even begin to think about it. I hope you do as well, and hopefully, you would enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you for commenting.
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Post by gen_g » 10 Aug 2019, 11:29

Intuitive Catalyst wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 13:50
What a beauty-full memoire and something to treasure.
I totally agree. Thank you for stopping by.
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Post by gen_g » 10 Aug 2019, 11:32

Juliet+1 wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 13:58
Thanks for this review. I'm really interested in poetry collections and how the writers create a "flow." Does 98 pages mean 98 unique poems or were some of the poems multi-page?
Actually, no. Some of the pages were for formatting purposes, etc. There are approximately 70-90 poems of varying lengths, i.e., some were longer than a page and some just a single page (or shorter). I would definitely love if you got a chance to read the collection. Please let me know your thoughts if you do. Thanks for stopping by!
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Post by gen_g » 10 Aug 2019, 11:34

unamilagra wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 22:38
Wow, what an impactful collection. I love that the author's mother chose to publish the poems on his behalf after he passed away. Hopefully she will take your feedback and work on the organization a bit. Great review!
I agree – it must not have been easy for the mother to do so, especially when she has lost her child. Still, I'm glad I got a chance to read this. Thank you for stopping by!
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Post by gen_g » 10 Aug 2019, 11:37

Wambui-nj wrote:
10 Aug 2019, 04:01
It is so sad to know that the author never got to see his work published. Thanks to the mother for taking that step. Anyway, sounds like an emotional and great book to read. Thanks for the wonderful review.
It was certainly an inspiring read – both Pak and his mother are brave people, and I can only hope to emulate their courage. Thank you for your lovely comments.
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Post by gen_g » 10 Aug 2019, 11:39

Prisallen wrote:
10 Aug 2019, 08:05
It is so sad that he had this horrible disease. I really feel for his mother, and I'm glad she was able to publish his poetry as they seem wonderful. Thank you for a great review!
I am definitely happy that I got a chance to read his book – it was such an enlightening read. Thank you for your comments!
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Post by Ekta Swarnkar » 10 Aug 2019, 11:57

I think that books with poems connect with the heart much better than normal books. This book gives an important lesson of self love, which is lacking in this present world. Amazing review!

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Post by gen_g » 11 Aug 2019, 01:22

Ekta Swarnkar wrote:
10 Aug 2019, 11:57
I think that books with poems connect with the heart much better than normal books. This book gives an important lesson of self love, which is lacking in this present world. Amazing review!
I agree with you - we could all do with a bit more self-love. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment!
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