Book Review — Bloom

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Bloom by Beau Taplin is advertised as a collection of one hundred and forty poems. Taplin is an internationally recognized author and social media sensation. Following a formative education at Melbourne Rudolf Steiner, Beau found some success as a songwriter before turning his passions to poetry and prose.

Poetry is a complex art of using elements of language, rhyme, meter, and alliteration, to create emotion. Poetry was once sang using the elements of language to aid in oral histories. We remember early nursery rhymes because they do rhyme. Homer’s epics use meter to help keep the story moving. John Donne among others used alliteration: One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, / And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die. Not all poetry follow these examples. Prose poetry, for example, uses none of the above but creates imagery with its words. Rimbaud:

And send us, whipped through the lapping waters
and the spilled beverages, to pitch through the barking
of the mastiffs.

Today we see several authors presenting their work as poetry. Lang Leav and others certainly do have their following. Taplin like Leav started off as “internet sensations” and moved to print. Most readers of this material I see are the younger crowd. Popularity seems to be in that teen to the twenty-something group which makes sense. Editing cliches and truisms may seem like new material for the younger crowd but for older, experienced readers the words sound recycled and lack the basics of poetry:

Yes, love is all about sacrifice and
compromise, but it’s also important
to establish a limit.
You shouldn’t have to throw
your whole life away to make a
relationship work.
If you have to lose yourself to
please your partner, you’re with the
wrong person.
~ Compromise

I see advice column writing with stylized line length. I do not see poetry. I see truisms, memes, and Ann Landers. I think it’s great that more young people are reading in the age of Netflix and PlayStation. Nice advice for young readers but not poetry.

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