Silver’s Book Reviews – “Life, Sex & Death – A Poetry Collection,” by David Ellis

040116_1718_SilversBook1.jpg

  • Title:  Life, Sex, and Death – A Poetry Collection (Vol 1)
  • Author: David Ellis
  • File Size: 421 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Self-Published by author
  • Publication Date: January 30, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BB8XMW2
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literature & Fiction, Poetry, Love Poems

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in return for an unbiased review which follows*

41r3ibCjYzL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

In the words of the Author:

“A collection of poetry spanning a variety of themes, with the dominant ones being Love & Romance, Inspiration and Philosophical musings.

Life, Sex & Death represents David’s first full-length collection of emotional contemporary poetry that celebrates time-honored themes and finds new and interesting ways to present them.

His work is uplifting, sensual and at times tries to connect on some base instinct level with the reader.

His style is distinctly his own yet in these pieces David evokes and echoes the playful spirit of his poetic heroes such as Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Leonard Cohen, Cecil Day-Lewis and modern musical contemporaries such as Nick Cave, The Kills, Chris Cornell, Katy Perry and even Weird Al Yankovic (yes, really!) to name but a few all feed the elective vision and vibes of his work.

He aims for Life, Sex & Death to be a trilogy and a triumph for modern poetry, accessible to a large number of age groups and one worthy of taking pride of place on any bookshelf.

Find your favourite poem today, be it filled with seriousness or off-beat humour.”

My Recommendation:

This collection of poems is one man’s written philosophical journey through life. The book is divided into three sections – Love/Romance, Philosophical, and Inspirational. I could not help wondering if this was the way the author’s own life meandered on a path to wisdom and understanding. Each poem contained a story that seemed to capture a life moment and hold it in suspension as if waiting for us to read and share in the experience for the first time.

Life lessons abound in this collection of prose filled with poetic visions and worldly advice. One of my favorite poems was called, “Pride can be a Sword.” The words extol a virtue of forgiveness and confidence in your own life path. Most meaningful to me were these words, “…The lives touched now have purpose – face your fears…”

This is just one example of how David Ellis’ words reach out and grab you. His writing is down to earth and sometimes raw, exposing some welcome philosophical meanderings of my own.

Another favorite was called, “Modern Ragnarok.” For whatever reason this poem spoke and awakened something in the deep dark recesses of my mind. David Ellis writes:

“…Only the strongest tales survive

Built from foundations of flesh and bone

Azure oceans froth and writhe

Crashing wildly into the unknown

Bestowing a name to our pain

Ancient myths and prophecies

Retreating off this terrain

Fighting against past mistakes…”

Poetry and prose have a way of speaking to your heart and this is certainly the case with this collection. Sound and inflection are used to show a change in mood and to bring emphasis to meaning. It is the sound of the words, the alliteration, that always draws me in.

Of particular interest to me was the author’s love of acrostic poetry. This is where the first, last or other letters in a stanza spell out a particular word or phrase. David Ellis has created his own form which he lovingly calls his, “Acrostalyptica style,” which is evident in many of his works.

They say writing poetry frees your mind, and as a poet, you possess the creative ability to share your world reflections in a different light. This is what David Ellis’ style does. It leads the reader along as if telling a tale when in reality it is asking you to embrace your own experiences right along beside him.

The poetry of David Ellis is filled with empathy and compassion, wisdom and experience, all conspiring with your own emotions to bring you an insight you never had before. However, I also drew comfort, knowing David Ellis’ words shared in the joy and despair of life that we all experience. At times, I wondered if he read my mind.

I read these poems in a series of weeks, a few each night. The words are written to ponder and enjoy. Take your time and wander through life with David Ellis. I enjoyed the ride!

My Rating

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

040116_1718_SilversBook4.png

David Ellis

About David Ellis

I’ve collaborated with poets internationally and edited poetry for a variety of people who constantly praise me for helping them to improve the flow and rhythm of their pieces.

My weapon of choice is humour and I use it as often as possible, as it gets me out of trouble. Think of me like the thriller genre in that I am fast paced, relentless and impossible to put down! I reside in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the UK.

My website http://toofulltowrite.com contains creative advice for budding novelists and writers.

Make certain to connect with David through his Twitter @TooFullToWrite and Facebook at David Ellis (Toofulltowrite)

Thanks for stopping by to meet David!

040116_1718_SilversBook6.png

The Red Sweater

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

Blogging U 9.14

The Man:

The morning sun is dappled as it flashes between the leaves of the trees lining the main pathway of the park.  I hold my wife’s hand easily inside my own, cradling it protectively.  We walk along slowly, savoring the time we have together.  We follow the curving path matching our footsteps in time.

Coming around the bend in the path, I see her.  An old woman, her grey hair blowing in the breeze, knitting a small red sweater, while seated at the bench.  I look at the woman and start to cry as the realization that I must leave tomorrow really sinks into my brain.  The thought of leaving now gouges at me.

I grip my wife’s hand tighter and say, “I know this overseas assignment is going to be hard on you, what with the baby coming and all.”  “Don’t worry about me,” she replies.  “Your folks will help.”

I look at her, wiping my eyes with my sleeve.  “I know,” I say to her gently.  I kiss her lips and hold her tightly to my chest, one hand on her protruding belly.  My baby is in there, I think to myself.

The morning breezes stir my wife’s hair, tickling my chin.  I smile down into her upturned face kissing her again.  At this moment and time, I do not want her to know what my mission in Syria will be.  It is better she never find out.

The Woman:

The park is cool this early in the morning as the mellow wind wafts through the trees.  “Our path,’’ I think to myself.  My husband firmly holds my hand inside his as we walk together enjoying the sounds of the birds flitting from branch to branch in the trees above us.  The sun is warm when it touches me in between the shade of the trees.  I feel like I am in a movie, like time is incomplete, or in slow motion.

We keep step with each other, in unison, walking and swaying.  I think about us walking like this and wonder if our life together has been just one long dance.  As we round the bend in the path I see an old woman sitting on our bench.  In her gnarled hands I see the flashing of red yarn as she knits a tiny sweater.

My husband sees the woman too and he cries out, tears in his eyes.  I know he saw that tiny baby sweater she is knitting, I thought.  I grab his hand tighter, holding on to him.  I feel the baby kick, tiny flutters pushing against his hand.  He kisses me deeply.

After a moment of blissful eternity, my husband says, “I know this overseas assignment is going to be hard on you, what with the baby coming and all.”  I squeeze his hand reassuringly, “Don’t worry about me.”  “Your folks will help.”  I choke back my own tears.  Plenty of time for crying after he is gone, I think to myself, gaining control of my emotions for the fifth time that day.

He leaves for Syria tomorrow.  An assignment we never thought he would get because the baby is due in only a few months.  He had worked it out with his commander.  He would be able to stay here with me until the baby was born.  That is life in the military.  If they wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one, I thought bitterly.

He kisses me again, all the while looking at me with a wistful smile on his face.  I close my eyes and melt into his arms.

The Old Woman:

What a lovely morning this has been, thought the old woman.  I am glad I decided to get out of the house and enjoy the summer breezes here in the park.  The leaves rustled in the trees and flashed brightly in the pattered sunshine making her silver hair glow brightly in the sun.

She picked up her knitting, pulling the thick red yarn out of her basket.  The tiny red sweater was really taking shape.  She had been working on this gift for her new grandson for several months now. Her knitting needles clicked together, as if keeping time with the young couple walking down the path.

Red sweater

(Image credit: Cardigan Jumpers)

The old woman glanced up and noticed the couple hand in hand, in perfect rhythm, walking toward her.  What a handsome couple they are, she thought.  The wife is pregnant too!  How wonderful to see them so in love walking in the park, she thinks to her herself.

Curious now, and remembering her own past loves, the old woman peeks at them through her downturned lashes.  She watches as the man suddenly grabs the young woman tightly to him, and kisses her, their hands intertwined  over her large belly.

The old woman blushes as if she was witnessing something she should not.  How lovely together they are, she thinks.  This is a private time between them.  I should get up and leave them alone.

She gathers up her knitting and places the tiny red sweater in her basket. I just cannot wait until my grandson is born, she smiles to herself.   The old woman slowly walks past the couple who do not even see her leave the park.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you enjoyed this story from three different perspectives,

Silver Threading