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Sanctuary of the Soul: Sacred Heart Offering Paperback – January 31, 2011
Everything We Keep: A Novel
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Top Customer Reviews
Evaluating the works in this collection is a challenging. There is no definable form to judge: his style of writing uses frequently repeated rhyming words that resemble Rap lyrics. His vocabulary is impressive and the manner in which he elects to express his revelations and epiphanies does indeed reach the heart of the reader. And after all, that is one of the aspects of poetry that makes it unique in expression. The style of writing changes throughout the book but always returns to his favored Rap rhyming style. He uses some variations of spelling - at times 'the' become 'thee' as if to emphasis the different pronunciation of the same word, 'steering wheel' becomes 'stirring wheel', etc - and yet this is not a criticism: observe the number of other poets who stretch words to meet their fancies.
The main ingredient in Aaron St. Julien's writing is an honesty of voice. It will be interesting to see how this voice develops. Grady Harp, March 11
St. Julien's themes really interest me, drawing on heroes like Malcolm X and Dead Prez, questions of how a young black man makes his identity in today's world. His words form his weapon of liberation, like Dr. King or Dr. Dre, but is that enough? His poems don't differentiate from one another, droning through relentless beats that endlessly repeat until we find our feet. It's a haze, a rhyming hip-hop daily daze that never breaks away from its rolling thought train.
I suspect St. Julien imagined a beat backing his rhymes and assumed that meant he'd achieved what he'd set out to find. He might be happier on stage, busting a rhyme like Saul Williams to mark light and time. Perhaps he'd better find a stage, because he'd rather sing than read off the page, he'd rather live in an oral rhyming age. But as print artifacts, his constant four-beat rhythm gets hypnotic and never achieves traction. So on the final page, I still feel unfulfilled.
These poems would make good slam fodder, good stage patter, ginning up listeners to stomp their feet and cheer. If you imagine yourself in St. Julien's hip-hop métier, you can hear these rhymes in your mind's ear. But on the stark unchanging page, the moment and place lose their sense of beauty and grace in the face of his unrelenting hip-hop pace. St. Julien has a good ear, and if I learn he's playing live, I'll probably be there. That's probably his natural home anyway.
I was provided a complementary copy of this book from the author/ publisher, Outskirts Press. I was not obligated to provide a positive review. The opinions in this review are strictly my own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's hard to grasp the feeling and prose of this poetry at first if you are use to reading prose that goes very differently. Read morePublished on July 6, 2011 by Shannon M. Mcgee
A must read! Aaron St. Julien is a metaphoric genius. He touches on life experiences that we can all relate to. Read morePublished on April 9, 2011 by Mecca
Aaron St. Julien is a young poet who has experienced enough life to transform his experience into poetry. Read morePublished on April 1, 2011 by Stacey Donaldson