REVIEW: The Whole by Contemplation of a Single Bone

cover78830-medium.pngBOOK: The Whole by Contemplation of a Single Bone
AUTHOR: Nancy K. Pearson
PAGES: 104
PUBLISHER: Fordham University Press
MY RATING: ★ ★ (2.5/5)

In this her second collection of poetry, Nancy K. Pearson explores the possibilities of recovery and transformation in a world where “words cease to matter.” The speaker attempts to reconcile the past–a past shadowed by depression, addiction and misdiagnosis. Pearson refuses to end in a place of relief, asking the question, “don’t we all /fall into aggregate darkness/for something?” Instead her poems meditate on the lyric of absence and fragmentation. Pearson’s poems are restless, unsettling and revelatory.

I received an advanced electronic reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

When reading The Whole by Comtemplation of a Single Bone, you can tell that Pearson chooses her words carefully. Her descriptions were ultimately beautiful, but fell short in coming together to form an overall thought or story for me. I nitpicked my way through this collection of poetry, reading every word, falling in love with certain sentences, but never feeling like I took something away from the whole of the piece.

Quite frankly, I think it went a little over my head.

“We drink wine and I feel sexy and you have a stomachache and we love each other so much it hurts to disagree about something as small as okra.”

The description of this book has you believing that you’re going to explore some very thought provoking themes, but ultimately I just couldn’t find it hidden in the work.

There were so many well thought out lines, beautiful imagery and very visual metaphors, yet there were only certain stanzas that I really resonated with and never felt like there was any particular poem that I really enjoyed or completely understood in its entirety. The whole by contemplation of a single line.


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