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The Joy of Reading

'It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.'  Oscar Wilde


P.J. Reed
Available from all online bookshops.
Flicker is a combination of haiku and senryu, combined and updated for the modern audience. In this collection, P.J. Reed has brought together a series of poetic postcards entwining the ever-changing nature of the Devon countryside with the lives of the people she has met in her travels throughout the county, creating a fascinating representation of humanity and nature.
This collection is beautifully illustrated with colour paintings.
An ideal gift for poetry lovers everywhere.

Review  12/7/17

P.J. Reed’s, Flicker, epitomizes the genuine beauty and essence of words through reflective, profound, fanciful, and entertaining poetry. As we read poems categorized as, Senryu (poetry structurally like haiku, that specifically displays the state of human nature), and some in the Haiku format, Devonshire-inspired countryside versification, convert a journey of ordinary moments, into engaging, provoking, poetic revelations!
The intricate and well-thought out strategy of dividing the explorations of her journey between the Senryu form and Haiku form, which is explained in the book’s introduction, adds a flair of ingenuity to this reading, further complementing the witty and knowledgeable aptitude concerning the theme of this edition.
Her elegant and eloquent poetic language is verbally and mentally inviting, forming real-life scenes most people can relate to (despite one’s background), thus, opening the gates to a world of evanescent verses that exhibit the author’s interest and appreciation for human nature. She even goes on to include herself saying,

“invisible me
voices floating through the air
am I here at all”;

as to incite the fact that she is unnoticed, whether unintentionally, or on purpose, we can’t define. For in another poem she writes the expression;

“internet unplugged
my house rests in the silence
humming happily”;

clearly content and comfortable with her own quality and state of solitude, leading us to believe she isn’t afraid of seclusion.
Reed’s exceptional ability to transform a single moment, that perhaps, may as well have faded into time, and turn it into an ageless and priceless imprint, is impressive. We strongly believe the precious flashes portrayed in this collection are fortified by the author’s ‘show-and-tell’ demeanor, subliminally teaching us about ourselves and others through word pictorials (show) and verbal explanations (tell). She skillfully executes this methodical approach by brilliantly displaying a variety of common sentiments, from melancholia, to bliss, all the way down to jealousy. Examples of this read as follows;

“on husband watching
jealous wife sweeps to his side
brushes girl away”;

and then,

“sadness comes like waves
rolling on the beach
relentless and unstoppable”;

in one poem, cleverly uniting the element of nature, to the vivid and evocative emotional aspect of sorrow; while in the other, magnifying the character of an actual person, a jealous wife, who, apparently, demonstrates a possessive trait. But, don’t we all?
Continuing our journey, colorful and free-spirited word arrangements make a stroll by the ‘green water canal’ in England seem like the most peaceful, idyllic fantasy! To add to this, the author discovers innovative ways to illustrate the movement of the fish in the water by using the classic children’s game analogy, ‘hide-and-seek’. In this, we visualize the amphibious creatures swimming in patterns and circles, persuaded by the Author’s detailed animation! And depending on the depth of your imagination, you can nearly hear the ‘bubbles burst on clear water’, in the words of the Author.
Reed’s whimsical explanations of her surrounding environment make several indications to the weather, using descriptive word combinations that are unusual and thought-provoking.
For instance, in one poem, she makes implications of a dejected soul, while similarly, using the portrayal of ‘icy waters’ and a ‘fogyish sea’ as allegorical metaphors relating to climate, which also happen to be figuratively parallel to the mood of the author’s words (gloom, sadness, blue, etc.).
Again, this is a key example of the author’s technique in skillfully entwining real human emotion with the atmospheric conditions and other elements of the world around her; such as, creatures, skies, tree’s, mountains, wind, and of course, people!
In some poems, we notice traces of enigma. Though each poem has what we will call, a more obvious meaning, if one searches beyond the surface, readers will unearth and understand which feelings and emotions are being triggered by the sight, sound, taste, or feel of certain animals, people, or other natural elements/landmarks she happens to encounter. Interestingly enough, each one of the author’s interpretations contain this multidimensional combination.
For example, in this poem, Reed says;

“broken leaf spirals
ripped from a cluttered branch,
fly or fall alone”;

using the representation of a departing leaf to emphasize the usefulness and necessity of separation, making her words deeply contemplative, philosophical, and meaningful. For in one mirror, you see this marvelous visual dimension of nature (spiraling leaf, branch, tree), while simultaneously, considering the author’s idea or theory when she says,
“sometimes we need to experience loneliness, to find our true selves”.
Which brings us to our next point. The additional details written in standard prose included with some of the poems, distinctively strengthen the substance behind each expression, as the descriptions provide a literal explanation behind the author’s poetic translation of thoughts. This is rare in poetry, as it is one art known to be up for subjection due to its abstractness; however, in this case, her brief elucidations seem to compel us all the more! Terrific feature! We find them not to be merely insightful, but also tremendously informational, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the beautiful landscaping and sparkling beaches of Devon, England!
In an entirety, after reading the author’s illustrious compilation, the smoothness of her words mingled with her analytical and artistic personality has us spellbound! Not to mention the fact that, adding Devon, England onto our list of travel ventures, certainly seems like a plan!
Reed, without a doubt, is a writer and poet at heart who has proven her love for the art, mastering one of Japan’s most ancient poetry forms, Senryu, while making the book relatable, intellectual, amusing, attractive, and universal to all humanity.
We are more than pleased to provide a 5-star rating for this collection and hope everyone has an opportunity to read and absorb the positive rays emitting from Reed’s words!
Simply outstanding!

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126 pages

Lost Tower Publications

3 April 2017


Available from

Amazon UK or 

Amazon USA