Literary Review: Truth, Love, Blood and Bones by R. May Evans
Posted Jan 06 2010 12:00am
Before I begin, let’s get one thing straight. I am not a “Literary Critic.” No. Actually, I write. That fact may automatically disqualify me from being a Literary Critic, completely.
I once considered entering the world of Publishing as a career. During my first class to study for this, the CEO of a very, large, International Publishing House began by saying: “If you are a writer and want to become an Editor, you can just forget about that right now!”
I found that very amusing, and so was she. She’s a fantastic woman, even though she is no longer holding that position. So, now that I have dispensed with that little preamble, the review of this book.
‘Truth, Love, Blood and Bones,’ is comprised of 41 poems. Stylistically, they are written in a free form, and are relatively brief (although, perhaps, only by some contemporary standards.) However, any such brevity in no way renders them lacking in worthy material. Additionally, it may broaden scope, and offer more accessibility to the reader.
A main theme is noted in references to nature. However, it may (willingly or not), succumb to a degree of subjugation. Any tipping of the scales would happen after such exposure to the author’s emotion, conveyed through her work. The writing is clear, insightful and very strong at times. Yet, despite how strong it is, it does not come across in a forceful or overbearing fashion. If any spotlight is to be shone upon this book (or its author), it is not a glaring one. Further, there are no “spotlights” to be shone upon its readers.
I found two intriguing things about this book. First, as you begin reading it, and continue to do so, it has an incredible draw. It makes you want to keep delving further–to just keep going. When I read it the first time, I had to finish it completely. I could not stop. It was only later that I could slow down and give pause for thoughtful consideration.
The second thing, and here is where I was somewhat “off” in my critique, was a bit of a surprise. Initially, I thought the book would have benefited from some opening structure to guide the reader. I felt a little off kilter. I didn’t know what I was getting into, as the title, ‘Truth, Love, Blood and Bones’ was so specific in its wording. I was wondering if I (and subsequent readers), were going to be sent on some sort of Wild Goose chase!
Boy, am I glad I didn’t suggest an addition of any sort of “Table of Contents,” page! The “surprise” I received was quite a twist. Kudos to the author, if done intentionally (as I suspect it must have been.)
From the start, you are given a view of the world at large, seen through the author’s eyes. As you travel along, you are then abruptly brought into a section, that demonstrates the strength of women and their power. After leaving with that crescendo still resonating, you are next carried into a wonderful and heart pounding existence of love. There, several scenarios of what love can mean await your arrival.
Recommendations? Here are a few that I suggest:
“What Chases My Hart*” – This struck me as so breathtaking. It’s as simple as that. Well, my word of choosing; not the poetic piece.
“Women Grow Strong” – I found this the most powerful of those that displayed the works surrounding women. The writing and the imagery combined make out outstanding.
“J’adore” – What a title! I did fall in love with this one!
“Xocolatl” – This was my absolute favourite. It completely blew me away.