Pamphlet 2020

Poetry - General
134 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2021
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Author Biography

For four decades Paul Tait has performed both as a band leader and as a singer/songwriter/pianist.

He independently released a series of critically acclaimed recordings, including: "Pop Musician", "Television City", "I Still Believe", “Back In Business”, “Angels Of The City”, "Song to the Moon" “1975”, “Frenemies”, and “I Didn’t Quit I Surrendered”. All of his music is available online.

As a poet Paul has published multiple volumes including "Stray Lines", "Markings in the Cave", “Pirate Conductor”, “Sand ‘n Ashes”, “Seven Centers”, “Boston Dialect, Volume One”, “Boston Dialect, Volume Two” and "Pamphlet 2020". All have been universally acclaimed and are available in the e-pub\Kindle format online.

About "Pamphlet 2020"

Written entirely during the panic and chaos which was 2020 some, but not all, of that is woven into the tapestry that is Paul Tait’s “Pamphlet 2020”.

Being topical was never an intention of Paul’s for he feels it limits the life span of a piece. Therefore be it a musical composition or poem, Tait has generally avoided speaking out on a current event in his work. Some exceptions, like “Paris, 2020”, do manifest.

“Pamphlet 2020” contains the most Tait has written in a single year since his twenties. This is largely due to the supportive writing community he became a part of on Twitter.

As with “Boston Dialect Volumes I and II” all the poems are in the order they were written.

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Pamphlet 2020 by Paul Tait is a visceral volume of poetry written by an accomplished writer and musician. His musical side is quite evident in his poetry--some lyrical, some as rapid as drumsticks that roll down the page. The imagery and ideas he conveys are wide-ranging, and the thoughts and emotions he evokes are provocative, spot-on, and inspirational. Though some of the poems reflect times of the 2020 pandemic, others do not. But you will be glad to become acquainted with Tait's poetry if you aren't already.

I love the slice-of-life morsels Tait offers with his poems. There is something blunt and shorthand about some of them, which I like for their immediacy, and yet others weave a dreamlike feel. I like that he does both amazingly well. There is something a bit clandestine in some of the poems, like "Head On Down", as if there is some hidden knowledge he's aware of; some secret that he wants to share but holds back. He leaves the interpretation to the reader, which is the way I like my poetry and music. I appreciate the religious imagery--so vivid and alive. And I appreciate the quieter tones as well. Given to rhyming poetry, I admire his rhythm, and this is where Tait really shines. Some of his poems are about specific locations, and they invite the reader to vicariously visit those places with him through the words. I like his observations on individuality, and the way he blends love with nature and tries to make sense of the world and what is going on around him. Pamphlet 2020 by Paul Tait is for the longtime poetry lover, or for those who want an impactful introduction to it.

Erin Nicole Cochran

In Paul Tait’s Pamphlet 2020, pathways that are tied together through poetry lead us to moments in time that speak to the man himself. And in turn, he speaks through them to us, his readers. In this way he is a bit like an interpreter, his feelings being his own specific language. He assembles historical snapshots of war and civilization in a way that feels as though he has been there to witness it for himself. For the reader, who is taking in this panoramic view, it is like having a first-row seat at a play that is set back in another time.

Pamphlet 2020 by Paul Tait reawakened my awareness that true poetry is still alive today. His words are reminiscent of some of the poets in the early 1900s, such as T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden. A much older soul seems to careen through these pages of flashes found in times past, dipped into pixel black “ink” for our eyes only. Not to say that all the poetry in this collection is past based. There are many poems that are in the present, that we can easily find ourselves relating to. One of my favorite poems from Tait’s Pamphlet 2020 was on page 12, “Head on Down” - it has this preach-free balance to it that the world needs more of lately. Tait’s proficiency in narration style seems able to command the mind to set itself free, to get lost in the words, if only for an hour or so when we need it the most.

Jamie Michele

Pamphlet 2020 by Paul Tait is a compilation of the author's original poems, presented in written and chronological order as they were created during the tumultuous year of 2020. Tait's prolific capabilities are on full display with a mind-boggling anthology of work that hovers at a hundred, all free form in style but free-flowing in rhythm. To put this into perspective, Tait essentially wrote a complete poem every three and a half days; a remarkable volume given the quality of work produced. From Don't Bother They're Here and its thoughtfully acerbic play on the biblical book of Revelation's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to Silent Turbulence, a profoundly honest ode to the fallacy of pain's departure with haunting lines that read, “Time heals nothing, Absence makes nothing fonder, Why were the lies, Written on our eyes...”

It took some time for me to unpack the work of Paul Tait as it is given to us in Pamphlet 2020. In truth, it took some time for me to decide to even pick it up on account of a cover that didn't appeal to me in the least. Thank goodness my curiosity prevailed, ironically due to the same cover taunting me because the journey between was intriguing. Poetry is highly subjective and deeply personal, and there were definitely pieces I read multiple times to decipher their meaning, while others were easier to understand without sacrifice of the complex nature of Tait's writing. My personal favorite fell into the former category, entitled Minutia, a fitting entry into grasping the banality of life as the source of exactly the beauty we look for in larger moments. Pamphlet 2020 is a book for those with a more sophisticated, intellectual appreciation of poetry and among those, such as myself, who enjoy wordplay that provokes a lot of thought, this will certainly be well received.

Lesley Jones

Pamphlet 2020 is written by Paul Tait. This collection of thought-provoking poetry encapsulates the level of emotions, uncertainty and change humanity experienced in 2020. Human emotions and their relationships with one another are analyzed and the flaws and strengths uncovered. Emotions such as grief, love, pain, desperation and fear are depicted with realism and flawless truth. How will our lives change in the future and will civilization ever return to normal? Will mankind take this moment to reflect on their futures and discover if their lives have matched their authentic selves? Is it time for each of us to begin making choices that serve our core values and beliefs and not live a synthetic life for materialistic and social approval gains? This point is highlighted perfectly in The Beatitude, 'When I was younger I feared being alone. Convinced me I needed. To be needed.' The chaos and violence between different groups of people who have differing opinions are also examined as we are forced to ask the question has freedom of expression and opinion ceased to exist.

In Pamphlet 2020 by Paul Tait, each of the poems in this collection is extremely powerful, poignant and inspiring. Paul's use of the English language is enviable, he can evoke self-reflection in such a compelling way on all manner of subjects. In Ask Me Plain, I gained an empowering sense to free myself from negative thoughts; 'Time is wasted on the blind. On those trapped within their minds.' His analysis of the human mind and how this affects our perception of reality and the world, in general, was fantastic. Head On Down was a powerful reminder of how we are all manipulated by marketing and materialism. There are beautiful words of wisdom and life lessons in each poem that will motivate positive change. One of my absolute favorite poems was Minutia, 'Keep it simple. Do not be lead. The perfection you seek. Is all in your head'. The message relayed in Cryptic Layers gave me goosebumps as we are encouraged to become independent thinkers, ' Awareness can be fragile. As it changes perception.' Finally, Moment covers the natural law of the Universe with complete clarity, 'For every moment. There is an opposite. Just as every action. Has an equal reaction.' An absolute must-read.

Romuald Dzemo

Pamphlet 2020 by Paul Tait is a collection of poetry that is written during 2020. In a style that is hugely metaphorical, the author explores themes of existentialism, the crude monotony of watching the same dismal reality staring us in the face. The poetry treats political and social themes, among others, and the author captures strong moments of a shared experience in an intimate manner. There is a lot in this collection of one-hundred-and-something poems, from personal experiences to the social conundrum, from observations of nature to a critique of the status quo, from uplifting thoughts to insightful observations about life and the human experience. The author writes about humanity, human pain, human intercourse, hope, despair, and a lot more. Each poem reads like an instance of breath, capturing a moment; some read like intense emotion, a thought, an insight. They are gorgeous and many readers can easily follow the currents that flow through each verse.

Paul Tait is a gifted poet and one of the things I loved about this collection is that the author awakens feelings and thoughts in readers. Some of the poems are insightful, with lines to unfold by. For this author, words are symbolic and some of the single-word lines will have readers thinking beyond mere words for deeper meaning. There are many instances where the author moves from describing a personal experience to offering words of wisdom that are universal. Pamphlet 2020 is a rich collection and the topical diversity when it comes to themes and style makes it a work that will be enjoyed by a wide audience. It is important to note that each poem is unique. Some are written as a soliloquy, some address specific subjects in a style that is rhetorical, some are succinct descriptions of moments, emotions, and thoughts that readers will identify with easily. It is an engaging collection that had me mulling over some of the seemingly insignificant, yet important things that happened through 2020.