2 out of 4 stars
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Astrology Poetry 101 Cypher by Gregory Sulface is a short book of poetry meant to free the reader’s mind. The author has written the book as a dialogue with each character contributing a few lines of poetry before another one speaks. The characters include Professor Emeritus, Libra, Aquarius, Cancer, Pisces, Taurus, Sagittarius, Aries, Gemini, Virgo, Leo, Scorpio, and Capricorn.
This book of poetry generally feels like stream-of-consciousness writing, with the author just putting down one word or phrase after another as he thought of them. For example, a few early lines read, “Aquarius: Eccentric, Mortgage and // Quicken Loans, Cosmological // Equations.” I have inserted two slashes where line breaks appeared in the original text, but this is an otherwise exact replica. I couldn’t find many threads to connect different thoughts together, which made it difficult for me to derive meaning from this poetry.
Because of this, I took a hint from the title (cypher) and decided to look for a code, puzzle, or hidden meaning in the text. This turned out to be a fruitless search, and I can only assume the author did not mean to imply that this book was actually a cypher.
Although most of the lines felt nonsensical, there were some continuous threads throughout the book. The author repeatedly comments on poverty, capitalism and socialism, and the political landscape of America. He also makes use of pop culture references and both scientific and science-fiction terminology to fill the pages of this book.
Overall, I would rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I didn’t see an overarching theme in the poetry, and it didn’t open my mind or cause me to be introspective. I appreciated the way the author made each page look different with changing fonts and pictures, so I decided that it deserved more than one star. However, the actual writing barely even felt like poetry, as the line breaks seemed random and there was no intentional rhyme or rhythm. Because of these issues, I felt that I couldn't award this book any more than two stars.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy stream-of-consciousness writing. I will note that I only found a few typographical errors in the book, and it is definitely an original work that is different from all the other poetry I’ve read before. However, readers who enjoy traditional poetry with a clear theme may not enjoy this book, which is aimed at those who wish to open their minds.
Astrology Poetry 101 Cypher
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