Special Edition (Codex SE)

Young Adult - Mystery
60 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2018
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Author Biography

My name is RW Gates; it is my sincerest wish that World Codex will entertain, enlighten, and create intrigue for all those who are willing to challenge the parameters of everyday reality. Included within this series of books will be several previously unpublished works explicitly placed to be world-altering by their nature and design. Between the Codex pages are many accounts of events that have never before been brought to light or explored by the reading world as a whole. The World Codex staff has worked diligently to illustrate the impetus and inspiration for its development, as well as to captivate the imagination of each and every reader who delves into its offerings. World Codex has grown into an extensive research project that I have supported and facilitated for more than a decade now. I feel that the time has finally come to share its revelations with the public at large. The stories and documented accounts that are pressed upon its pages run the gamut from thought-provoking and illuminating exposés to tales of mystery and drama. They have been collected, collated, and compiled by a concerted network of dedicated individuals, who have worked tirelessly to bring this literary publication to the world stage.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite

Codex: Codex Special Edition by World Codex Staff is a short book that brings to the modern day a fragment of history that many have heard of, but not many know of: the first and last publication that was dubbed Planet Poetry. A poetry contest was held on board the Titanic and the winner was to receive $100. It includes poems written by passengers on board the ship before it struck an iceberg and sank. They vary in length and in subject, from Moby Dick to daydreams and lying. Most of them are rhyming. Also included are poems said to be written by prominent figures of that time, and some written by even greater figures, such as Edgar Allan Poe, and one anonymous that reads very much like William Shakespeare. Also comprised within is the account of what one of the survivors experienced.

As soon as I finished reading this, I must admit I felt a little bit like Indiana Jones discovering some wonderful priceless gem. There was adrenaline rushing through my body, and also moments while reading that chilled me to my bones. I have never read any accounts of what the survivors experienced while on board and it made me feel somehow more connected and understanding of what it was that these people were enduring. Codex: Codex Special Edition brings to our eyes moments in time that otherwise may not have seen the light of day. The poems within this collection are transporting. And while the public at the time felt that the editor in charge of Planet Poetry was trying to capitalize on the tragedy for personal gain, I’d like to think that wasn’t the case at all. If you love poetry, history, and feeling like Indiana Jones, read this book now.

Jack Magnus

Codex: Special Edition: Codex SE is a graphic novel which is comprised of essays, historical fiction stories and poems for young adults written and illustrated by the World Codex Staff. Sylvia Barrett and her co-editor Robert Wolcott’s idea to have a poetry contest aboard the super liner, the Titanic, on its maiden voyage was sound and really quite innovative. The contest would encourage the passengers and crew to get in touch with their creative side, and the adventure of that voyage would provide all the inspiration that they could need. After much thought, they had finally decided to call their publication Planet Poetry. Wolcott would be on that ship and would supervise the contest. As the ship was sinking, Wolcott, knowing he had missed any chance at saving himself, had put all his energies into making sure those poems survived. They were, in effect, the last messages sent by more than half of the contributors, who had been male passengers or staff, and thus unlikely to have survived. Planet Poetry would also have some contributions from distinguished poets, authors and others. The poetry did survive the voyage, but Wolcott did not. When Barrett marked the debut of the magazine with a soiree dedicated to the victims, her motives were considered less than noble, and the magazine failed spectacularly.

The World Codex Staff’s graphic novel vividly recreates the last terrifying moments of those passengers and crew members who did not find a place on one of the few lifeboats. Seeing their poems as their last words and, often, first poetic utterances, gives the reader a solemn and sometimes eerie feeling. Many of the poems presented will prove to be hard reading for a modern audience. As new poets are wont to do, their emphasis on finding rhyming words sometimes goes a bit too far, and I found myself dreading their disruptive appearances. The unpublished poem allegedly written by Albert Einstein, If Eyes Could See, brilliantly surpasses any other poem in this collection. It’s a glowing and transcendent commentary on time and space, which uses careful repetition to build up tension and dynamism. This poem is dreamy and eloquent, and it stirs up the imagination. I also loved the short story, Tantibus, which chronicles the last moments of Herman Holmes, who received the poetry from the doomed Wolcott, aboard the Titanic as he puts together a life raft that will give him a fighting chance at survival. Codex: Special Edition: Codex SE brings the tragedy of the Titanic to life by sharing those poems and experiences in a poignant and moving way. It’s highly recommended.

Charles Remington

Codex Planet Poetry is principally a collection of writings gathered by Robert Wolcott and Sylvia Barrett, which has been reproduced in book form by publishers The World Codex. It contains a number of works purported to be written by passengers travelling on the doomed vessel Titanic, who had been invited to take part in a poetry competition, together with previously unpublished poems by George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein and Edgar Allan Poe. It also includes an account by Herman Holmes describing how he survived the shipwreck. For reasons which are fully discussed in the book, only a very few copies of Planet Poetry were ever printed and the publication disappeared until R.W. Gates, the CEO of The World Codex, arranged for its re-issue. The book opens with a newspaper cutting describing why Planet Poetry may have been withdrawn from publication. This is followed by a letter from Robert Wolcott to Sylvia Barrett, handing over the collection to her, as he feared he might not survive the sinking of the Titanic - a fear which was well-founded as he was indeed one of the victims of the disaster. There follow fourteen poems by various authors which bear a disconcerting resemblance in tone and content, many basing their subject matter on death and madness. I am not an expert on the period but one poem by O. Wright, bearing the title ‘Beyond Horizons,’ which begins ‘Pushed up into the wind with speed,’ would surely lead you to conclude this was by Orville Wright. Was he on the Titanic?

The poetry from the Titanic competition is followed by some work collected by Robert Wolcott and Sylvia Barrett during their European sojourn, including an astounding poem by Albert Einstein. Finally, there is a short story by Herman Holmes entitled Tantibus (Latin for nightmare) which gives a barely credible account of how he was entrusted with the Planet Poetry documents by Robert Wolcott, and how he escaped the sinking ship on a raft he had constructed from doors, paddling to a piece of the iceberg that the ship had struck, and lighting a fire to keep warm while he awaited rescue. Codex CEO R.W. Gates concludes his introduction to Planet Poetry with the phrase: ‘The verisimilitude of its contents is for you to decide.’ A sound piece of guidance. If true, the contents of Planet Poetry which have been given opportunity for appraisal by The World Codex would be a truly astounding collection - a window into a time of turbulent history and a compilation worthy of further study. But true or not, I was intrigued by this book and found myself checking facts and looking at the Titanic disaster and the history of the times with new interest. I can promise you will also be intrigued by this book, but as to its verisimilitude ... you will have to decide for yourself.

Bruce Arrington

Codex: Special Edition (Codex SE) by World Codex Staff is a young adult mystery topic that concerns the Titanic and the items that were apparently saved while the vessel itself was quickly heading toward its doom on the bottom of the ocean floor. It contains articles that appear as newsprint; pictures and letters by various individuals; editorial notes; and perhaps most intriguing of all is a collection of poems apparently written by the passengers of the Titanic while on the voyage. One was evidently submitted by Albert Einstein before the voyage took place. They were going to be entered into a contest, although of course that never happened. The authenticity of these works was questioned earlier (and never published) so they were not made public. Until now.

I found the cover and first few pages intriguing as well, stylized in a flashy manner, grabbing the viewer’s attention. It reads like a comic book in some places, with large flashy ads in others. It was well put together and does seem to lend itself credibly as it is presented. Just understand that it is not a story, but rather a collection of different writings from the time. The question is, are the works authentic or not? And that may well be up to the reader to decide after careful consideration, which may take a bit of time of further digging into the facts espoused by the writings. For those who enjoy unraveling mysteries and discovering new claims, Codex: Special Edition (Codex SE), by World Codex Staff, will entertain and inform. Highly recommended.

Lex Allen

The discovery of the magazine Planet Poetry has yielded a treasure trove of poems from everyday people taking part in a poetry contest, Waves of Wonder, while aboard the Titanic before its tragic end at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. Included are previously unknown works by several celebrities of the day such as George Bernard Shaw, Edgar Allan Poe and Albert Einstein. Before publication, an outcry erupted that the lone surviving editor of the Titanic sinking (the other editor, Robert Wolcott, did not survive), Sylvia Barrett, was taking undue advantage of a tragedy for personal gain. Even worse, the Titanic crew member that rescued the manuscripts from the depths of the sea, Herbert Holmes, was rumored to be the illegitimate son of H.H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer. Miss Barrett chose not to publish, and the magazine remained unknown until now.

Photographs of the original magazine pages make up the eBook, Codex: Special Edition, assimilated by World Codex Staff. While unique among any other eBooks I’ve read, this method proved hard on the eyes until I realized a double tap on the page enlarged the image and, with a good set of reading glasses, I could enjoy the poetry. Of these, The Shrinking Man by E.A. Poe and If Eyes Could See by Albert Einstein were my favorites. Another interesting aspect of the book is the narrative by Herman Holmes on how he gained possession of the manuscripts and how he survived the accident. The Titanic has always fascinated me and now Codex—Planet Poetry has given me more insight into the incident and delivered some excellent poems. I hope the World Codex Staff is working on more historical surprises such as this. I, for one, am eagerly waiting its publication.