The Four Deadly Horsemen

Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear

Poetry - General
72 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2018
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Author Biography

Brandt Schubbe is an author based in St Paul. He has written three books, two collections of poetry and a novel. Schubbe has also written and directed a play for the Fringe Festival in Minneapolis.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

The Four Deadly Horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear by Brandt Schubbe is a collection of poems that are, curiously, grouped thematically under different sentiments and moods. In these poems, the author explores different emotions of life, including terror, bewilderment, frustration, and fear. These emotions are very symbolic in this collection and the author rides high on them.
The opening poem makes an insightful statement and points to the mental and physical lethargy that sometimes overwhelms us when we experience chaos. The poems cover a wide range of topics, including lessons of war, the questions that life throws at us, and the experience of love and loss.

Brandt Schubbe’s style is unique and evocative, with short lines that are strong in rhythm. The diction is awesome and the author shows deftness in coining phrases that allow readers to feel what he writes about. Some of the poems are very insightful and loaded with life lessons. One of my favorite poems is “An Early Twenties Revelation,” and the following stanza caught my attention and left me mulling:

“I must focus
For this moment
Is just right…”

This is the kind of collection for readers who love poems that are simply written, intimate, and emotionally rich. The reader is pulled in and compelled to see the world and reality through the eyes of the poet or the persona. The use of the first person lends great force to the poems, elevating them to a state of intimacy. The poet ceases to be an observer and becomes the subject of the poems. The Four Deadly Horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear is beautifully written and evocative, sweet to the ears, and emotionally appealing.

Gisela Dixon

The Four Deadly Horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear by Brandt Schubbe is a short collection of poems on basic human emotions. As the name implies, The Four Deadly Horsemen is divided into four parts - Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear - and each section has its own set of poems related to the particular feeling or emotion. The poems are fairly short for the most part, although some are longer and tend to run into pages. This book not only contains poems about these feelings, but some of these poems also have a certain metaphysical tone to them that discusses or reflects on themes of philosophy, nature of life, death, meaning of life, etc., along with musings on what feelings or emotions are and why they affect us, human nature, and more.

I liked the poems in The Four Deadly Horsemen by Brandt Schubbe and enjoyed the collection. I especially liked the poems that dealt with loneliness, emptiness, feeling alone, and the will to live or lack thereof. The author’s message - that this collection is meant to console and give people hope that there are others like them undergoing some of the same emotions - is a powerful one and will hopefully reach the right people. The writing of the poetry is fairly simple and I felt that it is the theme or the meaning of the poems that makes them shine more than the writing or the composition of the poem itself. Still, overall, this is a good read for fans of the poetry genre.

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

The Four Deadly Horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear by Brandt R. Schubbe is a collection of poems about everything that makes our lives miserable. It touches on the topic of what we actually do to ourselves. The poems are preceded by a heartrending dedication as well as a very powerful introduction, which is the story behind the story, the very reason why the author shared his poems with us: “Dreamer came to a spot in his life where love lost took him into a psychotic episode […]. His dream is that his story will reach someone in a jail cell or a psychiatric hospital […] and […] (will) help them realize that they are really not alone.”

The Four Deadly Horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear by Brandt R. Schubbe is a moving collection of poems shared with us in order to help those who are the most in need. The poems are powerful, they directly speak to our souls. The collection broaches subjects which are difficult to handle such as war: “I lost something in that war / More than my limb they / call my left leg”, such as being able to decide for yourself (“Give me space / Space to think”), death, isolation, pain (“to feel the / Forever pain / There is no / One coming”), burial, bewilderment, in an ever powerful way! This collection really made me think and touched me. I thank the author from the bottom of my heart and warmly recommend this collection of poems, which will either move you to tears or change your life!

Ruffina Oserio

The Four Deadly Horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear by Brandt Schubbe is a great collection of poems, all grouped into different categories: terror, bewilderment, fear and frustration. But the collection focuses on a variety of themes, including the painful human condition, the experience of darkness and helplessness, the symbolism of war, the strange co-mingling of hope and despair, and the essence of human encounters. The author takes readers on high emotional tides, with poetry that is crisp and delightful, poignantly capturing images and feeding readers with more than sheer emotion. Brandt Schubbe’s poetry is very provocative, laced with symbolism and featuring a style that evokes reflection in the reader on the existential realities of life.

The first poem is about war and it was one of my best poems in the collection, and it sets the tone for the entire work. The author uses very short and curt sentences, with diction that is accessible and familiar, but the rhythmic nature of the verses makes it unforgettable. It is also interesting how the poet moves from personal experience to general considerations on life. For instance, in “After War” he writes with regrets: “I lost something in that war /More than my limb they / Call my left leg...” But then transitions quickly to make a powerful, insightful statement about life, underlining the fact that the real battle might not be at the front, but in the daily experience of people - "People hating, Hurting, lying, And dying together.” The Four Deadly Horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear is evocative, filled with pathos and symbolism, a collection of poetry that successfully translates into words what many people find hard to articulate. Brilliant and enjoyable!

Lesley Jones

The Four Deadly Horsemen by Brandt Schubbe recounts the thoughts and feelings of a man during psychotic episodes. These were recorded under four categories - Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Fear. The poems in Terror describe the feelings of helplessness and the unwillingness or desire to fight them, but just to accept this is the life dealt with them. Hopes and dreams seem pointless and life is a battle of thoughts until they are replaced by the nightmares of sleep. Bewilderment recounts past acts of violence, either truly executed or imagined. There is a strong feeling of loss through death or abandonment. Frustration deals with immortality and hoping the day will arrive soon. There is a section of final farewell letters, telling how their actions have impacted him in his life. Fear that life is slow and the hope that a painful death will soon come.

The Four Deadly Horsemen was not a comfortable book to read. The idea that any human being could be plagued with such dark, horrific thoughts is tragic. Dark passages that scream for help and forgiveness, and an escape from the torment of his thoughts. I felt so sorry for this person living within their troubled thoughts and feeling that the only escape from themselves was death. He recounts such vile acts of self-hatred and violence towards himself and others. It was a fantastic insight into the mind of a man with psychosis. The subject matter of this book stays with you for hours and the passages replay in your mind. It left me with an overwhelming feeling of sadness for people with this mindset.

Arya Fomonyuy

The Four Deadly Horsemen by Brandt Schubbe is a fascinating collection of poems, all grouped into different themes: terror, bewilderment, frustration, and fear. As one opens this collection, there is a surprising discovery of the author’s gift of exploring the depth of human emotions. If poetry is described as an overflowing of powerful emotions captured in words, then Schubbe’s got it. The poems are simply written, intimate, and they lay bare the author’s soul for readers to touch. His fear, his experience of human intercourse, his despair, his acute sense of loneliness are all captured in clear and simple expressions and these feel real and genuine. There is also an underlying current of wit and insight that runs through each of the poems.

Brandt Schubbe’s poems are short and rhythmic, each poem centered on an idea, an emotion, or a single, significant episode. The short lines with quick stanzas make for an enjoyable read. There were times when some of these poems felt like a heartbeat. The poetry also features powerful images that readers will appreciate. He is insightful: “We never say good bye/We say, have a good day.” There is also a colloquialism in his poems that is stunning, and it melds with the light tone to create a powerful effect on the reader: “As the days pass/ There is things / I miss that came /My way and left…” The Four Deadly Horsemen by Brandt Schubbe is a delightful offering that reminds readers of the low moments in life and the gift of solitude. Gracious and utterly beautiful.