Tails Before Bed

Poetry - General
128 Pages
Reviewed on 05/03/2013
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

"Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed" is a 127-page book of poetry by E. W. Bosworth. It is divided into six chapters of random poems that deal with love and life. Bosworth is a new poet and, according to him, his writing is a reaction to the uniformity of post-post-modernism. He calls this unique voice postmodern formalism, which embodies, demonstrates and enacts the contradictions that he believes are inherent in a "systematic denial of history." Each chapter in the book starts with black and white images that seem to hold meanings too. Reading his poems is like listening to a new voice in poetry that is waiting to be heard.

It is simply difficult to ignore Bosworth's poems as they draw us into his varied experiences. In 'Craft', he says: "A poet wrote that walls don't have to be confining, nothing to make a body “fret”. "He came up with that while wandering around the mountain with a sonnet in his head." I guess this sums up pretty well the author's creative process, and the simplicity in his choice of words makes his poems quite charming. Much of Bosworth's poetry is inspired by the people and the events that surround him but there are also flowers, birds, snow, philosophy, history, and the human struggle that soars above us all. His poems are full of images and, as a reader, I try to find out his meaning to determine where he is bringing us. Through his experiences in life, just what is this poet trying to say? In the first lines of his poem 'Parole', he writes: "Looking into the Jacaranda is looking into your life no wonder there's so much simile on top of simile." Indeed, his poems leave me to determine, for myself, which features of his reference point he is trying to predicate. This is an enjoyable and insightful book of poetry.

Mamta Madhavan

'Jacaranda' (Tails Before Bed), is an excellent collection of contemporary poetry. The poems span the human nature and the dilemmas faced in the current time.

I found the poems in the book compelling and appealing mainly for their concrete and abstract images. They are stark, minimalist but convey a gamut of emotions.Rational yet creative and aesthetic, the style of poems reiterate the current trend of poetry where the reader has to interpret and get his own images.

The illustration at the beginning of each section , though modern art, tells us indirectly about the labyrinth of personal dilemmas we are stuck in. The illustration at the top of each section blends well with the concrete and abstract images of the poems.

Section 4 has the longest poem of the book, 'Professor Bosworth's advice for a struggling poet'. The poem is a philosophical piece which gives tips to the reader on how to go about writing poetry, improvisation and imagery. Though lengthy, the poet has a complete grasp of the topic and he manages to keep the tempo and pace of the poem. An example of clever writing.

Some of the poems emphasize the theme and matter by using repetition. There are a few poems in the book that use repetitive words which actually make the poems more effective and stronger.'Time Capsule' is a poem that reminds you the style of William Carlos Williams. There are a couple of poems that remind you of William Carlos Williams' style of writing.

Christine Nguyen

"Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed" is a compilation of poems that goes into the personal problems and perspectives of the poet that are at once extraordinary and ordinary. It takes everyday occurrences and uplifts them to an entirely new level that is contemplative, abstract, clear, and vague all at once. There are different sections of poems that make the reader open his or her mind to new answers and questions posed by the author. This book of poems can be read poem by poem, chapter by chapter, or just opening a passage randomly.

Author and Poet E.W. Bosworth has completed a very unique and creative set of poems. It is at once deep and complex, and that makes the reader think what the poet is trying to convey at another level that is visceral and truthful. There are some strange poems that the readers grasp at first and then realize that it may not be what the poem is about, so it calls for another reading and another reading. These poems are like an onion – as there are so many levels of the onion, the reader must peel away slowly at first to get to the layer underneath, only to find that there are more layers to unravel. Do I understand all his poems? Frankly, I don’t, but at the same time, there is a surprise factor at play with many of these poems. There is a new freshness in perspective that is seen from this new poet that calls for a closer look. I was left bewildered and confused at first, but then surprised and pleased since I needed to change my mindset and thinking to try to understand what Bosworth is displaying on the pages. Bravo for the poet in making me step outside of my comfort zone to embrace a new outlook in perception.

Joy Hannabass

"Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed" is a collection of poems by E.W. Bosworth, sharing his personal dilemmas common to all of us. Bosworth has a unique writing ability, telling his story through poetry. His poetry is different yet interesting and enlightening and entertaining. I enjoy reading a book of poetry from time to time. This is my first book by E.W. Bosworth, and though at first I thought his poems were somewhat strange and weird, as I kept reading them, I started enjoying them more and more. I found myself going back and reading the poems over again to understand the full meaning of them. Just to give you a little taste of what Bosworth’s writing is like, here is one of the shorter poems in his book that I found interesting:

No Wonder

No wonder one troubled midnight
I leaped from bed, in need of some
Kind of budget or a plan to pull
My daily living from the red and
Help me get a bead on where I am.

No wonder I suffer nerve-numbing
Dread of debits high enough to fill
An ash can, not to mention wavering
Credit and the fact of knowing for
Certain dead I’m a wealthy man.

If you enjoy reading poetry, I highly recommend you give "Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed" by E. W. Bosworth a try. I think that you will be immensely entertained. And one thing great about poetry is, you don’t need a lot of time to read; you can pick up the book and read as little or as much as you want! I think Bosworth is a poet we will be hearing from for a long time.

Rich Follett

E.W. Bosworth’s "Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed" is an erudite, quirky, conversational, cynical, witty and winning collection of poems indefatigably designed to index the myriad conundrums and contradictions of simple human existence in an increasingly complex world. Its ironies flow like honeyed wine, intoxicating the reader unawares: the effect is not unlike drinking Planter’s Punch while convinced that everything is under control and then discovering that standing up is beyond the realm of the possible. From 'After the Snow': Four crows eating my dog’s/food could be an omen./Rivers frozen far away, ice/sliding down could be an oracle./Prophets with crystal beards could be coming to visit us/numbed by our trivia.

Every poet has a ‘toolbox’ of preferred literary devices which help to define his or her voice and give the reader some trail markers; one of Bosworth’s favorites (and the most effective) is masterful use of parallelism. Many of the more spellbinding poems feature line after line begun with exactly the same phrase, the effect being a sort of cognitive shorthand which allows the reader to cut straight to the kernel of truth underlying each of the oxymoronic images strung together like Alice-in-Wonderland pearls. Any rational person would declare that Bosworth’s lists of the intolerable and the insufferable cannot possibly make sense and yet, in the oddest and most unexpected ways, they do. The result is a volume of extraordinarily accessible poems that manage to marry colloquial charm and existential angst in mind-expanding ways. From 'Episteme': "Sometimes I think thinking is thinking thought/sometimes I think feeling is feeling felt/Sometimes I think thought is felt feeling thinking itself." E. W. Bosworth’s "Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed" is a compelling poetic argument for chaos as the new order in his post-modern train wreck of a world that we scuttle and salvage anew each day.