A Candle Flickers Bright

David Galbis-Reig, M.D.

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 83 Price: (hardcover) $24.99 ISBN: 1503526433 Reviewed: July, 2015 Author Website: Visit »

A Candle Flickers Bright by David Galbis-Reig is a collection of light/inspirational verse that spans the emotional gamut from joy to despair, most often leaning toward an optimistic outlook on life.

These poems are arranged in nine short sections:  “Ember’s Alight,” “Nature Finds Love,” “Tumultuous Life,” “Vocations and Other Stories,” “On Life and Death,” “Medicine in Poetry,” “Poetic Tributes,” “Dreams and Fantasy,” and “The Finale.” An appealing sense of love, kindness and hope shines through many of the pieces, which harken back to earlier times with the use of formal words, such as “doth” and “lo.” For example, in “Angel’s Song,” the author writes: “As sun doth rise above the sky/And moon rule o’er the night/So doth my heart with her alight/Whom love hath made so right.”

Despite some bright spots, stylistic problems hinder the poetry’s ultimate power. There is a persistent use of clichéd language and lack of concrete details, creating work that most often comes across as generic rather than fresh and surprising.  “A Hand,” for example, includes these lines: “And though alone this soul may seem/ Alone it will not be/For through it all a hand will lead –/Lead onward to the light.”  The language comes across flat and predictable, more telling than showing. Readers will feel that they have heard such ideas, posed similarly, many times before.

In a few of the poems, Galbis-Reig aims for greater emotional impact by capitalizing individual words (“A thing called HOPE”) or by arranging the words of the poem into a recognizable object, such as the hourglass shape of “Troubled Times.”  Such choices will prove distracting to serious readers of poetry.

Fans of sophisticated literary poetry aren’t likely to find large satisfactions here. But A Candle Flickers Bright offers reassuring sentiment that may appeal to those who appreciate warm words spun into rhyme.   

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Author's Home Town
Arlington, Virginia
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