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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly by Arthur Lee Conway is a compilation of poetry and flash fiction that focuses on themes of very human conditions of frailty and discord. Broken into three separate parts, Conway compartmentalizes his anthology into sections. Part one is titled Rites of Passage, part two is Valley of Passions, and part three is Philosophical Roads. Each section features work that speaks of the cruelty of people, their weakness and depravity. These failings are highlighted in pieces such as The Hunt, a short story of police brutality, and the allegory of the verses called Oppression which are interspersed sporadically between other work throughout the book, stringing each vignette into a collective that binds them as one.
Poetry is often difficult to review because it is deeply personal and wholly subjective, more like a piece of artwork than a novel. Everyone sees and feels something different, and the delicate balance between appreciating the soul of a poet's work and actually 'getting it' is precarious at best. I think The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly is the type of book that a reader will either embrace or abandon. For myself, I believe that Arthur Lee Conway does well in addressing the human condition and that this compilation is both timely and relevant. I was particularly stirred by The Addict and his Daughter, a free verse in tercet style that in a single breath unleashes the collateral damage of addiction in the most heinous form. It's also worth noting that the book is sprinkled with sketched illustrations by Hampton R. Olfus, Jr. that are really good. Overall, this is a thoughtful anthology of work that I genuinely enjoyed.