4 out of 4 stars
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In In the Land of Myth: Orphean Sonnets, Bernard Kuckuck employs engrossing poetry to transport the reader to the classical age. The minstrel Orpheus is gifted with superhuman musical ability. He can enchant all living things and cause stones to dance merrily to his melodious tunes with his lyre. Orpheus has to rescue his love, Eurydice. In this fascinating world, the sirens also whisper charming tunes luring sailors to their deaths. Orpheus’s extraordinary adventures are nonlinear, which results in alternating moods, undoubtedly making the reading experience more thrilling. Apart from the celebration of Orpheus’s heroism and musical and poetic prowess, other topics such as love and the divine mysteries of life and death are addressed.
One of the questions that came up after reading the introduction was whether the book would stir up the ancient awe and reverence where poets were perceived as teachers and holy people. Fortunately, the author surpassed this expectation. The delightful poems did not merely describe natural phenomena but revealed the classic mythologies behind them captivatingly. One sees the active role of Persephone and Demeter when enjoying the vernal bloom. Accordingly, the perfect balance of contradictory powers in nature, especially Eros and Thanatos, is evident throughout the poems.
The use of ancient Greek terms sent me to the dictionary repeatedly, but this is how I got to understand more and better. With every search, my level of enlightenment progressively increased, and so did the passionate hunger to learn more, drawing me deeper into the ancient Greek world. However, including a glossary of terms would have helped to make comprehending some parts easy. In the book’s present state, readers have to search the meaning of some words on the internet, especially those not included in the inbuilt dictionaries.
The mood in every poem varied greatly, leading to an emotional roller coaster. The abrupt transition from an optimistic to pessimistic or cheerful to gloomy mood seemed to accurately communicate the normal fluctuations in life. As a result, this is what I liked most about the book. Besides, the rhyme was immensely appealing as it did not appear forced. Apart from the failure to include a glossary of terms, every aspect of the book was perfect.
In the Land of Myth: Orphean Sonnets was published by Tellwell Talent. It is only 228 pages long but takes one on an exciting, memorable journey. It is an easy escape to the other world where imagination is allowed to run wild. From observing the waves on the Aegean seashore to listening to the murmurs of the trees, every scene is painted perfectly to invite a corresponding mood. The book was exceptionally well-edited as I discovered only one minor error.
I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. I heartily recommend it to all ardent readers of classical literature. Every devoted fan of Greek mythology will also fancy reading it. Some poems were written in other languages like French, Spanish, Italian, and German, but their English translations succeeded them.
In the Land of Myth
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