Neptune Calls to Tide is a lengthy poetry collection comprised of densely-worded, emotionally-charged, free-verse poetry that centers on the speaker’s lost loves and enduring sorrow, anger, and loneliness in their wake.
The poems here largely retrace the basic pattern of losing someone precious and stating the negative emotions that accompany that loss, epitomized by lines such as: “Darkness of times,/ took her unawares;/ her tears are yet to dry”; “The heart that grieves of love;/ a love that shook her soul”; and “Through darkness of days, I’ve seen what life can throw without notice…”
The wrenching emotions expressed are clearly heartfelt and genuine. Unfortunately, although the lost loves alternate between duplicitous lovers (“Time heals never; a love betrayed”) and the death of a child (“You remain my baby lioness until the end of time”), the speaker’s viewpoint doesn’t vary or evolve significantly in more than 300 pages of text. Most of the writing also relies on telling- rather than showing-language, with few fresh images or concrete details to engage the reader’s senses.
The repetition of hopeless and totalizing pronouncements such as, “Our vile world will never end, and death would [sic] always prevail,” is likely to weigh down readers rather than inspire them. And because the speaker does not reveal new insights into her experience or demonstrate enduring personal growth, many may abandon the book before its end.
This collection would fare better if the author restricted its length to the industry standard of 48-80 pages. Further, the poems would be more successful if they explored more specific people, places, and events rather than offering generalized accounts such as, “…my love for you will never die;/ because nothing,/ could lessen my love for you” and generalized sentiments such as, “I, who have been starved of love and happiness…” With these changes and a focused narrative arc, the collection would be more likely to appeal to a wider audience.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.