Book: Ybo' and Other Lies

Author: Adriano Bulla

Rating: 5/5

Ybo' and Other Lies-Adriano Bulla

This is a very unusual book of poetry that expresses the spiritual and sometimes mystical nature of human nature. It starts with an introduction about poetry in general, then moves into a series of poems which experiment with language, there is then a series that seems to be an answer to 'The Waste Land', followed by 'Flicker Poems', very minimal poems describing complex emotions, then a few poems about war, death and love.

Social/Historical context:

It is hard to pinpoint what these poems are about, they certainly deal with frustration, angst, confusion, pain, war, the death of dear ones and even hallucination; on the whole, human nature is the real subject matter of the poetry in this book.

Writing Style:

The words unusual and experimental come to mind: each series of poems has its own poetics and style; the first series, 'Ybo'', reminds me of how Emily Dickinson used dashes to link lines and words. The second series 'Heav'n from Hell' is very literary and looks back at T.S. Eliot. The 'Flickers' are a genre of their own, very sparse; the sound of every word becomes loud on the empty page. The series called 'Miscellaneous' is varied in form and themes.

My Thoughts:

I do not understand every poem in detail, some are so complex that I think one needs an encyclopaedic knowledge to understand, others are very powerful and direct. My favourites are 'Poppies', 'Flicker nr 3', 'Dry Streams of Words', 'Between Dreams' and 'The Happy One', which is pure distilled rhythmical fun.

Book Reviewed by James G. Phillips

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