Lost Soul

Brett Hawks

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 101 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781462868179 Reviewed: November, 2011 Author Website: Visit »

Lost Soul, a collection of 45 poems by Brett Hawks, presents raw expressions of psychic pain. The subject is a personal journey through loss, rage, and suffering, into darkest depression. Many of the poems also reveal a struggle for societal acceptance. Although there are some hopeful notes, the theme of despair and the black mood of the book relentlessly meet each turn of the page. Titles include: “Adrift,” “Left Alone,” “Lost Reality,” and “The Prince of Darkness.” One slight moment of relief comes in the last poem titled “Everything Will Be Alright.”

To his credit, Hawks has given obvious attention to the structure of the book (he presents a number of poems in series), but he often uses simple, clichéd language. These lines from “Lost Soul Part 2,” suggest Hawks’ style: “I am tangled in a web/ of indecision./ I know not where to go./ I am lost everywhere I turn.”

Short lines and tight rhyme schemes, although appropriate to the tense subject, are overused here. For example: “Though I am a king/ I am a king of hell./ Bringing depression and suffering/ to others with whom I dwell.”

Readers can’t help but sympathize with the author’s obvious anguished state, and Lost Soul is the kind of book that might strike a chord with a deeply alienated audience. Still, it offers little in the way of sophisticated poetic language and no real invitation to the reader to leave a disaffected state. In fact, it may push readers further into the dark side — a place Hawks’ foreboding poems make clear is most certainly best avoided.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Skyeston, North Dakota
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