4 out of 4 stars
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The City by Brad Ramsey is a fictional book containing poems that describe the author’s living experience in community housing. The author gets his motivation from the work of an English writer, George Crabbe (1754-1832), in his verse called “The Village” that portrayed the literal suffering and degradation of rural pauperism in the eighteenth century. The author makes his lyrical debut which starts off rather rapturously as he employs continuity in the poetics and writing style of George Crabbe's “The Village” in describing his experiences and bases them on several topics.
The author lauds the works of George Crabbe and gives reasons that justify his admirations for him, referring to him as a unique bard who says the truth as it is while questioning the integrity of his contemporaries. This could be amplified by his saying “As Truth would paint it, and as Bards had not.” The author goes on making compelling arguments that further reveal the disparity between the elite and the poor. He suggests that the paupers who are around the elite are worse off, as the wealth around them makes them twice as poor. The author also talks about the evils of city life and the dying pauper, where he visits the fear of having no one and dying without mourners.
I loved the fact that the author sympathizes with the people of the lower class in their tribulations, while he expresses his preference for village life over city life through rhymes and tries to earn the sympathy of his readers as he hopes they disapprove of the behavior of the upper-class citizens. I was especially drawn to this part of the book because I have lived a greater part of my life as a low-class citizen, and I have a first-hand experience of how it feels.
I salute the efforts of the author in describing concerns of the twentieth century in an eighteenth-century language without any grammatical errors. I also found the book really educative, as it made me get a bit familiar with poetic styles used in those days. I also liked the fact that the author based his instances and arguments on relatable stories that have real-life authenticity that applies directly to the harsh realities.
Since I found myself lost in the verses at times owing to the choice in writing style, I feel an average reader who is not familiar with ancient poetry or patient enough to learn about eighteenth-century poetry would find it difficult to read and understand.
In addition to how well executed this book was, I found the book to be very relatable and thus thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. I rate The City by Brad Ramsey 4 out of 4 stars, and I would recommend this book to people who are interested in poetry.
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