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The Death Sonnets (Halloween Library Edition) Kindle Edition
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The book also starts with a poem about a nagging wife (misogynistic as well as overdone and way too exaggerated in this particular poem) and it doesn't really set a great mood for the book. It does get better from there on, but my initial bad impression lingered with me throughout the whole book and my view of it was sort of tainted because of that.
As for the macabre content: eh. It could have been scarier. Some poems were more gruesome than others, but some weren't very creepy at all. As a plus, though, I loved a lot of the titles in this book. Some of the poems have such out-there titles that you really are anxious to read the poems to find out what they're about.
Overall, this was okay, but not great. I'd maybe pick it up if it was free (because there's nothing to lose - the book is short so you wouldn't lose much time reading it even if you hated it), but I don't know that I'd pay for it.
To transform sonnets on love and beauty,
Writing none but gory, haunted refrains.
For creepy witch, goblin 'n ghost duty.
One questions the motive behind Cannibal Sex,
As he devours his lover, head to toe,
Witch Dentists use teeth for an evil hex
Even zombies swap S.T.D.s - big ho's
Babies leap to suffocate sleeping cats
Homophobes buried alive for intolerance
Always say nice things about Amy's hat
Evil Politicians get their comeuppance
Read all these twisted sonnets in this tome
There is much more inside, hit buy and roam.
My Sonnet Review
I'll be concentrating on reviewing Halloween themed book thru the month of October for the second year running so feel free to "see all my reviews" most recently if you're of a like mind and am looking for some spooky stuff this time of year.
What is a sonnet? It's "a poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment, of fourteen lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to one of certain definite schemes, being in the strict or Italian form divided into a major group of eight lines (the octave) followed by a minor group of six lines (the sestet), and in a common English form into three quatrains followed by a couplet."
Reading the definition may lead one to think: Blah, Blah, Blah.
I hadn't read a sonnet since college. Although it was a long time ago, I remember (vividly) that I didn't enjoy it.
The Death Sonnets, by Justin Tate, is a collection of fifteen sonnets. There's a reason why the skulls on the front cover appear to be both horrified and laughing:
"Worse than a collection of all my fears,
The reflection of me in thirty years!"
This glittering collection should be read with the screechy tones of the Crypt Keeper in the background, and ghosts hovering in the shadows, reading over your shoulder. And in the corner...is that Stephen King, wishing he'd thought of it first?
These poems read like stories. They're not filled with ridiculously enormous words and there is no hidden symbolism that you have to look for to "get it". Still, the writing is better than a story somehow. The flow is silky and smooth. You can't help but read them aloud.
There's also a really good mix of genres. Some are genuinely scary - like "Phantom Flirts" and "A Daffodil or Tulip Shan't Compare" - while others are outright hilarious. "Necropusticularitis" and "Pagan Witch Dentists from Salem Texas" had me laughing out loud. "The Nag" is classic horror/comedy as well.
"DFWTG" and "The Autumn Age" were two of my favorites that did have some symbolism, which made me feel smart because I definitely understood the message. Very witty.
The others were good too but I'll have to go back and read again to remember the titles. Although the collection was very short I thought it well worth the 99 cents, considering I genuinely enjoyed probably 9-10 of the poems in here and haven't especially liked more than two in all my years.