3 out of 4 stars
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Poetic Ramblings of a Disenchanted Soul by Danny Warren is an anthology of thought-provoking poems. As suggested by the title of the collection, most of the poems feature a disillusioned persona wrestling with dark themes such as aging, regret, longing, lost love and death. There are also a few poems that speak of hope. Warren was raised by nuns for the first fifteen years of his life, so it is not surprising that a lot of his poems also deal with a believer’s struggle with the faith and concepts such as original sin and the afterlife.
There are 181 poems in this collection, so it is not surprising to find many types of poems. The poems vary in length; Some are quite lengthy while others are very brief. Warren employs several rhyming patterns but most of the poems seem to be written in free verse. I enjoyed the narrative poems because the persona effectively conveyed his story using metaphors, similes and emotive words to help me feel his pain. However, in my opinion, Warren overused the word pain (it showed up in almost every poem!).
It was hard for me to find a favorite poem because a lot of them were really good. would have to say that the poems I preferred the most were the short rhyming poems. These poems were fun to read out loud because the lines did not feel like they were forced to rhyme. The lengthier poems, particularly those that did not follow a rhyming pattern, were a little difficult to decipher because the descriptive language used was too abstract. So, I was motivated to read every type of poem but for different reasons.
Additionally, all the poems had great titles. I believe that the name of a poem is quite important as it influences the reader’s expectation of a poem. There were even a couple of poems that shared the same title. For example, there are two poems named Spring.
Unfortunately, I can not award Warren’s work full stars because there were a few formatting issues. I can understand that certain poems required changes in font and formatting throughout the book but there were a few poems that were typed in fonts way too small to be read without hurting a regular reader’s eyes. Moreover, it was distasteful to see the title of a poem at the bottom of a page and the poem on the next page. These formatting issues make it seem like the book has not been professionally edited despite the lack of noteworthy grammatical errors.
I would like to inform Christian readers that even though Warren has a Christian background, some of his poems seem to be blasphemous. For instance, there is a poem entitled I Hate Sundays where Warren claims, “I had God once, but it didn’t work out.” This anthology was not put together to instruct people in the ways of the Lord but as Warren said,''to grant you a new level of awareness of the promises which good poetry can bring to you.” Hence, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars solely because the formatting issues previously mentioned.
Poetic Ramblings of a Disenchanted Soul.
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