Typical Tragedies

A Book of Poetry

Poetry - General
105 Pages
Reviewed on 10/19/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Typical Tragedies by Patrick Ashe is a wonderfully unique, no holds barred collection of poetry. Over the course of 21 years, Patrick explores the diverse aspects of today's society. He explores the complexities of human behaviour, from the differing emotions found in relationships and the battle to be authentic and true to oneself. Political issues such as identity politics, the fake personas of social media and social inequalities and justice are also addressed in a brutally honest and often humorous manner. This compilation of poems will compel you to address your own behaviour and attitudes to many different aspects of your life.

This brilliant collection of poems really delves into the complexities of human nature and current social issues but with a breath of fresh air. Each poem flows beautifully and the language is extremely visual, which sparks your emotions in such a powerful way. Some of the poems will make you gasp with their honesty, while others will make you laugh out loud. The feelings of love and hate within a relationship are relayed perfectly, as is the issue of people trying to achieve the impossible goal of perfection. The language used is forthright, descriptive, and will definitely make you evaluate your beliefs and actions. I loved so many of the poems, but especially Hooks and Chains Of The Mind, The Worst Of This World, and my absolute favourite, The Clause Of The World with its profound and powerful message. In Typical Tragedies by Patrick Ashe, the one quote which stood out for me was: "I don't want illusions. I want realities."

Rabia Tanveer

Typical Tragedies: A Book of Poetry by Patrick Ashe is a collection of poetry that expresses the author’s opinions, emotions, and hopes for a better future. Consisting of 9 parts and 77 individual pieces of poetry, the author shares his progress and what he thinks about his life. From talking about the woman he loved once getting married again to talking about things he wants to do, the author lays everything bare for the reader. He praises his alter ego, he talks about his flaws, the things he is proud of, and things he wishes to ignore. He also talks about how society has molded us to be a certain way and act a certain way or else we are failures. He leaves many questions open for readers and hopes to get answers from them. Patrick Ashe asks all the right questions in a rhythm and flow that grabs one's attention.

This collection is personal and self-reflecting, something that the reader can easily form a connection with. Patrick Ashe changes the flow of each poem according to its subject. Some poems flow well, while some stutter and have a broken rhythm. When the author is sad, the poems are slow, gentle, and fluid. When he is excited, the poem is fast, the rhythm is lyrical and almost like a favorite song. However, when he is angry, that is when the rhythm becomes erratic. The Young Nightmare, I Wanna Be Like Leonard, Dupli-City, Ontological Evil, and How Music is Made were my absolute favorites. Typical Tragedies is like a conversation between friends who are meeting after a long time. Each poem connects with the next one brilliantly and maintains the flow. This comforting and entertaining collection is a keeper.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

There are so many angles and disparities in life. It’s complex, a quagmire to circumnavigate. For the poet, this complexity is fuel for verse: good, bad, funny, sad, discouraging and so much more. Poetry is a release of unsettled thoughts and feelings, both for the poet and for the reader of poetry. In other words, poetry makes us think – deeply. For, put simply, poetry speaks from the heart and it can only speak the truth. Poetry is music in words. So, what better poet than one who is a musician. Writer, poet and rock musician, Patrick Ashe shares his deepest thoughts in verse in his recent work, Typical Tragedies: A Book of Poetry. He uses multiple forms of poetic expression: free verse, rhyming verse, metered verse, and rants. Each form expresses his deepest thoughts, some reflective, brooding, others speaking of the troubling yearnings of his heart. And there are some touches of humor as well. Inspired by some of the poetic greats in contemporary literature, like Leonard Cohen, this poet challenges the reader to reflect more deeply on all that is good and not so good in life.

With little or no punctuation, the poet uses various techniques like repetitive phrases to emphasize a point: “I am not defined by my hooks and chains of mind.” His almost sarcastic sense of humor creeps through in poems like this one: “When the world says/ Go away/ We don’t want you here/ One should respond/ Too bad/ Take it up with who sent me”. Even deeply profound ideas, like “There are no winners/ There are no losers/ There is only potential in varying degrees of fulfillment” are given a sarcastic sideline: “Would a winner bother to be reading this”. There are other deep thoughts presented in his poetry, like: “There is a light at the end of the tunnel/ We just don’t know if the tunnel is trouble in life/ Or is life itself.” And, being a musician as well as a poet, one would expect some musical analogies, like this one comparing virtues and differences in humanity with music: “Music is made in the intervals/ The spaces between the notes/ And the rhythm with which each are played/ Mostly where differences are told” …. “There is no virtue in trying to be/ Purposefully different nor the same/ Like dark and light and hot and cold/ The interplay is where they come in play”. This is a powerful, thought-provoking collection of poetry.