Review of Speaks for Itself: A Commodity of Musings from My Life

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Josephe-Anne
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Review of Speaks for Itself: A Commodity of Musings from My Life

Post by Josephe-Anne »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Speaks for Itself: A Commodity of Musings from My Life" by Jeffrey Paul Bailey.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Delve into the thoughts of a man who is not afraid to express his emotions. In Speaks for Itself: A Commodity of Musings from My Life, Jeffrey Paul Bailey shares his deepest feelings of love, loss, and other challenges in life. This poetry collection truly lives up to its name because it consists of the author’s reflections and opinions regarding his many memorable experiences. Mr. Bailey’s writings hit home because they are relatable to most people. Sometimes written as an allegory and sometimes written as an unusual type of poetic narrative, he proves that being human can be frustrating and painful, but those shared experiences have the potential to unite us rather than tear us apart.

I was quite impressed by the creative cover image. Reminiscent of surrealist artwork, the painting features a group of human mouths walking their tongues on leashes down a street as lamp posts illuminate their path. The illustration is a visual representation of the phrase “hold your tongue.” Bringing to mind another English expression, a sign above the lips reads “Easy Street.” Between the stunning covers, the book’s format is simple. There is a table of contents that lists each poem. The poems are titled, and most of them are short, consisting of only one or two pages. I did not find any violent content, and the one swear word I saw was censored with an asterisk rather than being typed in full. However, there are a few religious references and some perceived criticisms of Christianity.

In addition to the fabulous cover design, there were several other aspects that I enjoyed. The text contained a number of unusual vocabulary words. I learned that “maudlin” can mean “foolishly overemotional” and “hubris” is a synonym for “arrogance.” I also liked the varying styles of each poem. As I mentioned before, some of the poems were narrative and fairly straightforward, while others were more abstract and had rhyming verses. My favorite poem was entitled “Old Crows.” It was a clever allegorical poem that clearly described the author’s bad experience being in a relationship with an insincere and cantankerous woman. I also liked the poem entitled “Graveyard Shift” because it was a tribute to someone the author knew. “Damper” detailed his annoyance when having to deal with someone criticizing his appearance.

While many of the poems were both poignant and clever, a brief description of the poet’s inspiration for each piece would have provided some much-needed context. This would have helped me empathize with him more. Also, I didn’t like how the book ended abruptly after the last poem. Some closing remarks would have added a more personal touch. Mr. Bailey took some liberties with his use of punctuation, but in most instances, I believe that was a stylistic choice. I only found a few errors that did not hamper my reading progress.

Taking everything into consideration, I have decided to give Speaks for Itself: A Commodity of Musings from My Life by Jeffrey Paul Bailey a rating of four out of four stars. Even though I would have preferred some explanations about the poems, they were entertaining, and I could still sense the author’s exasperation, confusion, and heartache on every page. Readers should bear in mind that sometimes the author seemed disenchanted with Christianity and the concept of God. Therefore, I would recommend this collection to open-minded people who are not easily offended.

******
Speaks for Itself: A Commodity of Musings from My Life
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Pearl Thomas
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Post by Pearl Thomas »

While I agree to some extent with your comment on including the inspirations for the poems; I also feel that presenting the poems on their own is fun as we can peel through the layers of the poem and have our own meanings of it. Lovely review.
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Post by Gabriella1997 »

I love poetic books, I think am going to enjoy reading this book, beautiful review.
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Post by Niens Now »

I also like the cover. I think the book covers all the most valid topics and it will certainly be an interesting read. Thanks for a great review.
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Post by MsH2k »

That is a very interesting cover.
It sounds like the author pours out his feelings unabashedly. I enjoy poetry—it’s like jumping into the poet’s river and swimming wherever their current takes you.

Thank you for a great review!
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

Pearl Thomas wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 06:12 While I agree to some extent with your comment on including the inspirations for the poems; I also feel that presenting the poems on their own is fun as we can peel through the layers of the poem and have our own meanings of it. Lovely review.
You bring up a valid point there! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and writing a comment.
😊
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Josephe-Anne
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

Gabriella1997 wrote: 25 Sep 2021, 04:30 I love poetic books, I think am going to enjoy reading this book, beautiful review.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review and leave a comment.
😀
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Josephe-Anne
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

Niens Now wrote: 13 Oct 2021, 07:05 I also like the cover. I think the book covers all the most valid topics and it will certainly be an interesting read. Thanks for a great review.
You're welcome. Yes, it certainly was interesting. Thank you for your comment.
😊
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Josephe-Anne
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

MsH2k wrote: 22 Oct 2021, 00:52 That is a very interesting cover.
It sounds like the author pours out his feelings unabashedly. I enjoy poetry—it’s like jumping into the poet’s river and swimming wherever their current takes you.

Thank you for a great review!
That's a very creative way of describing the experience of reading poetry! Thank you so much for stopping by to leave a comment.
😀
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Post by Jenniferg_1105 »

Great review! I don’t usually read poetry, but your review has me interested. I may have to read this one.
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