Sunday, May 19, 2019
On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles by Sophie Schiller – Book Review
Book: On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles
Author: Sophie Schiller
Number of pages: 76
Publication date: 31 January 2019
This review was originally meant to be published in April for National Poetry Month 2019 but better late than never. Today, I'm reviewing a poetry collection titled On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles by Sophie Schiller. The collection features poems inspired by Schiller's visit to the Caribbean.
Comprising 30 poems, On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles is a collection of mostly rhymed and absolutely picturesque verse. The poems paint pictures or tell the history of some of the Caribbean's historical figures.
Each poem is followed by a colourful illustration by Skaidra Zayas
One of the most beautiful pieces in the collection is "There Is a Wise Man in the Sea" with the "wise man" being a surprise.
He was at least three feet in length
With flippers that showed that greatest strength
This mast of his aquatic domain
Taught me that "Nature does nothing in vain."
Another picturesque piece is "I Found a Danish Skilling" which tells the story of a Danish ship buried in the sand since 1767. The image it paints is beautiful and each time I read it, takes my mind to an image of ship buried in the sea with divers surrounding it and marveling at it.
In her poems, Schiller uses her surroundings including lizards, birds, and flowers, for inspiration. Her poem "The Oyster" and "I Dive Beneath the Ocean's Waves" are examples of that and must-reads.
As I said, Schiller dedicates several pieces to historical figures in On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles including "The Land of Alexander Hamilton," "The Legend of Kong Juni," and "Queen Coziah."
"In 1733, as the legend goes
In St. John of the Caribbees
Arose a slave both brave and both
Whose name was Kong Juni
This African, a warrior chief
With each whipping he endured
Decided he would never rest
'Til his liberty he had secured."
Some poems are also dedicated to historical places like "Annaberg" and "Charlotte Amalie."
Schiller concludes her poetry collection with notes on some of the poem's topics and historical figures like Kong Juni and Queen Coziah added to Danish impressionist painter Hugo Larsen, who had lived in the Danish West Indies and painted between 1904 and 1907.
It is rare that one falls in love with an entire collection. There were may be one or two poems that weren't "amazing" for me but the collection On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles is definitely one of the best I've read. It's a must-read picturesque selection of poems. I hope Schiller visits more places and writes about them.
Overall rating for On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles by Sophie Schiller: 5 stars.
Note: I received a free copy of On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles from its author Sophie Schiller in exchange for an honest review.