The Lion Playing the Kazoo

A Poetry Collection

Poetry - General
113 Pages
Reviewed on 04/03/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Throughout The Lion Playing the Kazoo by Taylor Sapp, you will be invited to consider many different aspects of human behavior and how people's actions and views affect themselves and others in society. There are also interesting philosophical themes to examine and debate. If you have ever questioned the reason for your existence, how your behavior can sometimes unknowingly affect others, or how your thoughts and behaviors determine your actions, this is a collection that will evoke much self-reflection. The poems aim to make you think and see everyday interactions differently in the hope that mankind can become more understanding, loving, and generous toward one another. There are deep and meaningful poems, as well as comical observations. As society seems to be increasingly wrapped up in their own lives, it is sometimes important to view the world through a more considerate and non-judgmental lens.

The Lion Playing the Kazoo by Taylor Sapp is such a compelling and intriguing collection of poetry. I was gripped by the underlying but powerful messages throughout. The compilation covers such great observations of human behavior, thoughts, and emotions; from the conflict within society, apathy or ignorance towards others' pain and suffering, loneliness, revenge to the acceptance of a miserable existence. In The Downtrodden there is a very dark message that we are all wrapped up in our own lives and sometimes hurt those who are battling their own problems. In The Lonely Little Green Teacup, we witness the sadness of solitude: 'Her hopes began to fade, Dulled like a used blade, And she became more and more brittle looking for love.' There are also very humorous poems that will make you laugh out loud. My absolute favorite poems were A Day Of Being Dead, Sky and A Man Without Eyes especially the poignant line, 'I had pitied the man without eyes, Yet the one who couldn’t see was me.' The collection will spark important debates, make you ponder on the meaning of life, step out of your comfort zone to reach for your dreams, and become more accepting and less judgmental of others.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Have you ever wondered what a kazoo was? Technically, it’s a musical instrument, but it’s a special one that you can vocalize into the mouthpiece creating a buzzing sound. Rather cool. One could say poetry is like a kazoo: you vocalize your thoughts using metaphors and similes and all manner of literary devices to create a succinct and compelling representation of something – anything – or nothing at all.

Taylor Sapp titles his recent poetry collection, The Lion Playing the Kazoo. It’s also the title of the last poem in the collection: “Perched on a rock, regal and majestic/ A lion, kazoo in its mouth, making mournful eulogies/ Dead remnants of human at its feet.” I wondered if the lion’s dead human was the poet. It would certainly appear that the poet has made a metaphor linking the kazoo to himself as a poet and his poems as well. But, would not also the “dead remnants” be the fodder of the poet’s poems? Food for thought. That’s the magic of poetry. There is so much that can be said in a few simple words; so many ways the reader could interpret what is read.

The poems reveal multiple styles of poetry: haiku, rhyming verse, acrostic and so many other styles. Each poem reflects, as it should, some aspect of the poet’s life, his thoughts, his feelings, his beliefs. Some of the poems may seem simple and short, but upon closer study, they reveal so much more. This is a gem of a poetry collection, one that deserves multiple reads, as I’m sure each time the poetry is read, a new dimension will reveal itself. Like the unusual thought/ image of a lion playing a kazoo, there is much to ponder in each of these poems.

Tammy Ruggles

The Lion Playing the Kazoo: A Poetry Collection by Taylor Sapp is a series of poems to stir the imagination. As this is the 2nd edition, you'll find some extras in this volume such as notes on writing Haikus and discussion questions for classrooms, book clubs, and poetry groups. Some of the titles alone will pique your interest--"The Raucous Reindeer", "Rusty Vines", "A Day of Being Dead"--and deliver an eclectic mix of messages. Some of the messages are simple and slice-of-life experiences that put you in a certain time, place, or frame of mind while others allow your imagination to play with the words and imagery within the poems.

Sapp has an engaging way of combining wit with realism, and there is an appealing quirkiness to some of the poems that imply that some of them don't take themselves too seriously. But then you'll read between the lines of others and come away with a deeper meaning, or more than one interpretation. Some of the poems read like an interesting commentary on the world in general, while others have a more personal feel. This poet's style is very reader-friendly as if inviting you to "fill in the blanks" as you read, guessing as to what the meaning is, and exercising your imagination in a playful way. Some of the poems have a tactility to them, while others are lyrical. I like Sapp's varied approach to the composition of the poems, as some are more serious. A sparkle of life shines throughout them with crisp imagery. The collection, as a whole, moves along fluidly, and each poem stands well on its own--some as complete as a micro-story. If you're looking for poetry that flirts with both lightness and sincerity, The Lion Playing the Kazoo: A Poetry Collection by Taylor Sapp should be on your to-read list.