Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Impulsive Bones, poetry collection – Book Review

Impulsive Bones by Molly Madd is a collection of poetry ranging from pieces from her childhood to topics tackling drinking and drug use – no idea if these are personal experiences or part of the inspiration process – and love.

I felt the collection could be divided into themes, since some of the love poems in there were a bit sappy, I figured they were written earlier in Madd's life, as opposed to other poems that were deep.

There are a few heartbreaking pieces in there. The collection encompasses 108 poems!

Impulsive Bones opens with two emotional pieces, namely "Nani" and "Heavenly Sight"; although I wasn't sure if Nani, in the first, were a mother's name or someone else. Both are recommended pieces.

Both "The Darkness" and "Disappear" are five-star pieces that would be great reads at a poetry recital.

But not all is beautiful or interestingly dark. Several of the pieces had unnecessary repetition, or jargon that isn't fitting for a poem. In one piece "Comfort from a Stranger" I felt like I was reading an economic news article rather than a poem. Similarly, "The Book" was one of those pieces where redundancies weakened what would have been a great poem; the same for "Finger Printed Breaths".

The fear of emotional melancholy
I feel it anyway, in my bones, it fries
Like chips in sizzling water
I hope for a higher feeling of numbness
Of comfort
My soul deprived
Needy of the casing to cover me
Only to be left in silence as I wait.
From "Opiate Haze"

"He's Calling You Upstairs" and "Mum's Meds" are two of the most painful and heartbreaking pieces in Impulsive Bones. They are also the strongest and they made me shiver. Along with "Bathroom Lunch", these poems highlight personal and societal problems. Each of them gets five stars.

I love poetry, but at one point I considered dropping this collection. Many pieces just didn't make sense. Still, going back to the book, there were several beautiful pieces.

I was despairing then a poem like "Duplicate Dreams" came along and my vigour in the collection was restored. I wish I can quote this poem whole.

Other recommended poems in Impulsive Bones: "Running Wild", "Your Presence", "Your Touch", "Cup of Love", "Voices of the Unheard", "Unknown", "Carbon Polo", "Selfless", "Car Weather", and "Magic.

One of the things that bothered me about Impulsive Bones was the spelling mistakes. Moreover, I felt that some poems could have been lengthened or shortened to bring a closer meaning and a stronger emotion to the reader. Poems, unlike stories, can't handle redundancies and over-the-top repetition.

Last but not least, I liked the cover.

I'm still a bit unsure about how to rate Impulsive Bones. I had originally given it a 2-star review, but while rereading my notes and the poems I liked, I've moved it up a notch to 2.5 stars. I think the collection needs work to reach 3 or more stars.

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