Friday, December 11, 2009

Book Review by Gracen Miller

Gracen Miller, author of Elfin Blood and The Devil's Den, posted a fabulous review of From the Shadowstoday.

From the Shadows is an easy read, but there’s depth to these poems, with a story to be told in each one. And each and every one of her poems was thought provoking. Sometimes the poems are morbid and dark. Sometimes they’re poignant reminders of loved ones we’ve lost, such as My Mother’s Garden. At other times, I saw dark, unhealthy romanticism. Your Kiss is a Riptide, for example. This poem in particular reminded me of the abusive relationship my best friend had with her husband. She wanted out of the relationship, but she kept getting caught up in his “riptide” until she was almost dead on the inside. Ms. Stevens may not have meant for me to interpret this particular poem in this way, but that was how the poem affected me. And often times—in my opinion at least—poetry is about feelings and emotions, and I easily felt some form of emotion with each of Ms. Stevens’ poems.

As I read several of her poems, I could hear them set to music. Their dark, haunting words reminding me of the late 1980’s dark and haunting song, Close My Eyes Forever by Ozzy Osborne and Lita Ford. I love that song, still love that song, and could easily hear many of her poems sung in my head by some heavy metal singers today. Maybe Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach or even Rammastein, would be able to turn her poetry into lyrics.

Some of her simplest lines are her most vivid. For instance:

Shadow Queen of the Sidhe
“Blackberry lips
Brimstone embers in her hair…”

Graveyard Whispers
“Resonates through their caskets
Rattling cloth and bone…”

Plague Rat
“Gasping wetly for breath
Prayers pass cracked lips
Hoping for the release of death...”

Wow! What powerful and vivid descriptions with simple words. I can visualize exactly what she’s written and each one of these showcased above is startling in my mind’s eye. Her poems are written in a myriad of different ways, so the cadence never gets old. And while I liked some poems better than others—of course that’s with any story ;-)—I still enjoyed the totality of her book of poetry and I’m glad Ms. Stevens allowed me the privilege of reading her work. For anyone that loves dark poetry, I think you’ll love this book of poetry written by E.J. Stevens as well.

Be sure to stop by Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem for Gracen Miller's full post!

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I think it is one of the best compliments a poet can get when a poem reminds someone so much of personal experiences. Also, that your poems seemed to create their own soundtrack is wonderful. Best of luck with From the Shadows! I hope that I get a chance to read it!