Book Review: Words That Kill

Words That Kill

by Vivid Vega.

2017.

120 pages.

Genre: Poetry


Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


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Summary:

Words That Kill is a collection of poetry about one’s breaking point. Vega’s poetry centers on rhyme scheme. Themes included are depression, anxiety, abuse, body dysmorphic disorder, hope, and love.

The collection is split into three chapters, Sticks and Stones, which deals with the rise of the Words That Kill, followed with Last Breath, the climax of the breaking point, and lastly, I See the Light, which deals with hope and love surrounding the darkness of the pain caused by the Words That Kill.

My Thoughts:

  Theme:

The overall theme and feel of the poems strike a chord with me, as I can relate to many of the emotions that the author is feeling.  Depression. Anxiety. Hopelessness.  The messages that I see popping up in these poems, again and again, include ‘I have no voice’, ‘My inner demons are slowly killing me’ and ‘I am not good enough.’  vega2

Many of the poems speak of domestic abuse and the scars that it leaves. Instances of self-mutilation and suicidal thoughts are also constant. Whether the reader has had similar experiences or not, the raw emotion seems to scream from many of the pages and it leaves one effectively empathizing with the author.

The last part of the book is called I See Light. These poems are meant to offer hope to the reader as the author reasons there is always light to be found that can cut through the darkest hour if only one looks hard enough.

The author uses the last pages to share poems of love and devotion, including one for a beloved pet.  While poems such as the one included for the pet might seem to be losing focus of the central idea, I feel that they are in fact a nice addition to the final chapter, in that they are direct examples of the hope and light that the author is trying to find.

Flow and Quality of Poetry: 

Many of the poems flow very well and deliver a powerful emotional impact. The key word there is ‘many’, not ‘most’. I think what hurts the poems the most is the lack of any punctuation and poor choice of line breaks.  I had to go back and insert my own mental commas and periods so that I didn’t feel like I was reading a sloppy run-on sentence.  I found that part the most distracting, making it a difficult read throughout.

A majority of the poems are built on rhyme scheme. I enjoy a poem that has good rhymes, but I felt, as I was reading this, that the author was trying a little too hard to rhyme in places, which resulted in words that didn’t fit the context of the poem or even make any sense.

I also found a lot of the poems were very repetitive. Though I understand the significance of repetition in poetry and often use this strategy in my own writing, there were times in the book that I felt I was reading the same poem over and over.

Layout:

I thought the book was super cool and unique when I first opened it.  Black pages!  That isn’t very common!  The author also includes their own original art, though some of them are a bit difficult to make out as anything more than scribbles.

My biggest problem with the layout of this book would be the dark gray font that was used for the poem-within-a-poem concept (a bit hard to read against the black page); which brings me to…

Hidden Poems:

A poem hidden within another poem. The author claims to have invented the concept and refers to it as Vivid. Not to be an ass, but… I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this trick in other poems well before this book was published.

At any rate, I think the hidden poems in this book would have been better to have been left out.  A few of them were clever, but many of them made no sense.  Going back to the dark gray font against black pages, I had to strain my eyes to make out what the words were.  Aggravating!

Overall: 

vega

I typically don’t like the thought of giving a mediocre rating for a poetry book.  Poetry is after all often super personal to the author.  It stems from the deepest and most personal parts of the writer’s psyche.

There are roughly 100 poems in Words That Kill. Of those 100, there are 18 poems that I really liked enough to mark with a Post It tab so that I can go back and read them when the mood strikes me. That may seem like a low percentage, but I do not feel like this book was a waste of money.

What hurts the number of stars I gave this the most is the lack of punctuation where it needs to be. I think that once the punctuation is added and the author realizes that not everything has to rhyme in order to flow well, the future books we see from this author will be fantastic!

Favorite quotes/poem:

My dearest Rose

My heart you stole

You’re like a book of prose

Writing yourself into my soul


Discussion:

Can you write a poem within a poem?


My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.



Check out more from Vivid Vega on Tumblr

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