Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Pray for Five, Write for Five is a diverse mixture of joy, misery, irony, belief, doubt, and comedy, contained within sixty-two poems. They are written in verse, freestyle, and on occasions an unruly tangle of both. Robert H. Sarkissian is an irreverent advocate of the old saying “rules are made to be broken”. He hooks the reader, and hauls them unresisting from the beginning to a five-line poem entitled “At the Beginning”, which sums up what has gone before, and can be found close to the end. The subject matter appears to be anything that came to mind, and includes poems about coal mining, forging steel, and an obituary to a steam train. Pray for Five, Write for Five is both a treat and a challenge for poetry lovers.
“The Chastening of Paul Verlaine (1844 – 1896)” is one of the most intriguing poems I’ve ever read, summing up, as it does so well, this member of the French Decadent Movement. “Yoke of Nothingness” is five clever freestyle couplets rejecting all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless. Yet, the opening line of “Crucifixus” is “My God, why have you forsaken me?”: a freestyle poem that leads to death with the commitment of the spirit into His hands. Every reader will have a favourite. Mine is “Another Oaf Joins the Legal Profession” with, among other glorious phrases, “overpaid, over-pampered enemies of the constabulary”. Taste Robert H. Sarkissian’s masterful mixture Pray for Five, Write for Five and become addicted to his work forever.