Midnight Light

Poetry - Love/Romance
56 Pages
Reviewed on 10/10/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cassie Widjaja for Readers' Favorite

Midnight Light by Michael Pace and Brian Paglinco is a hauntingly beautiful poetry book about love, death, and redemption. This book is also written as tangible proof of the almost 30-year friendship between the authors. Each poem is accompanied by an artistic photo of a final resting place. This book highlights the difference in perspectives as what some may call dark or unnerving is beautiful and inspirational to others. For Halloween and the Day of the Dead, these 23 poems are a must-read.

When I first read Midnight Light, I was blown away by the perfect blend of beautifully composed photography and thought-provoking writing, and I finished the book in one sitting. Though each poem told its respective story, the book still came together as a comprehensive whole. Michael Pace and Brian Paglinco's storytelling pulled me in like a moth drawn to a flame. They did a splendid job describing the scenes, and I could picture these clearly in my head. Not only that, but they also conveyed each emotion perfectly. I also loved how they used simple and easily understandable vocabulary that still had hidden meanings. My favorite chapter had to be 'Siren Song' as I believe everyone has to be reminded that not all romances have a happy ending. When we try to please our partners to the extreme, we are hurting ourselves. For anyone looking for an aesthetic book to look at and still have important lessons to ponder upon, this book is for you!

Melinda Facal

Midnight Light by Michael Pace and Brian Paglinco is a haunting collection of poetry and photographs. Captivating images of burial sites are accompanied by beautiful poems highlighting varied experiences that may occur throughout one’s lifetime, such as lost love and heartbreak, drug abuse, and healing. The photos in this collection capture the serenity and mystery of cemeteries. Some of the photos share bleak images while others are filled with light and hope; just as some of the poems express despair, others convey hope and grace. At times jarring and at other times soothing, this unique book gives voice to the human condition and complex emotions that are often difficult to depict.

Midnight Light invites the reader into the silence and solace that can be found at cemeteries. This thought-provoking collection of striking photos and melancholy poems is a compelling combination that encourages the reader to linger and contemplate each page. A personal stand out for me is the poem “Autumn Leaves,” this short poem succinctly captures the sadness and longing accompanying heartbreak and lost love. Pace and Paglinco have created an interesting work of poetry and art that presents death and final resting places in a meaningful and respectful manner. This unique collection will engage the reader and prompt conversations with others about life, love, and death. I highly recommend Midnight Light for its insightful poetry and remarkable images that will leave an impression and stay with readers long after putting it down.

Astrid Iustulin

Words and images have the power to convey strong emotions, and if they are used together, they become irresistible. This is what happens with the collection Midnight Light, in which the poems by Michael Pace and the photographs by Brian Paglinco are intertwined with exceptional results. Pace and Paglinco are friends, and Midnight Light is more than their collection dedicated to the themes of death and love. It is also the celebration of their long friendship. As you already can imagine, the result is amazing.

Some books leave a strong impression on the reader, and Midnight Light is one of those books. Pace and Paglinco's work is an excellent example of consistency and symmetry, where words and images are two sides of the same coin. I immediately liked the idea that the photographs were an essential element of the book and not just an appendix. It seems to me that they convey a melancholic atmosphere, while the poems develop the main themes with intensity and depth. I confess that the themes left me with a sense of uneasiness, but since death is one of them, this is what I expected. I am glad to say that Midnight Light has positively confirmed my expectations from all points of view. Overall, it is an original blend of images and words, which both readers and photography enthusiasts will love. If you like poetry, I invite you to share Midnight Light with a friend who likes photography or poetry, or both. I believe there is no better way to enjoy it.

Jamie Michele

Midnight Light by Michael Pace and Brian Paglinco is a book of original poetry focusing on the darker moments that take shape in the lives of those where the grim and depressive consume with abandon. The work is written in free verse and does not have a straightforward meter or syllabic beat, but most have a distinctive slant and end rhyme schemes. The poems also vary in length, such as the single-line titular piece called Midnight Light, to the five stanzas of Let Me Go To Hell, an ode to the destruction of a broken heart. Interspersed between each poem is original photography, the author's credit to a series of journeys made to cemeteries sprinkled across the United States.

Midnight Light appealed to me when I initially read the blurb as I am a bit of a goth geek. Poetry is as subjective an art form as other visual mediums and more so than a story or a novel. The pieces written by poets Michael Pace and Brian Paglinco are no different in this regard. I found the overall body of work to be well done. Some poems stood out to me, like Dark Tomorrow, a profoundly honest look at the coercive relationship between an addict and a pusher and the helplessness the former has when faced with their vice. Others, such as Underneath Icicles, feel slightly more like side fillers on an album good enough not to need them. Overall, this is a comfortable autumn/winter read for those who enjoy poetry and photographs.

Pikasho Deka

Midnight Light is a poetry collection penned by Michael Pace and Brian Paglinco. Complemented by a set of mesmerizing photographs taken across Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, the book contains an enthralling collection of gothic romance poems that portray the anguish of the heart and soul through some beautifully penned verses. "Still Feel Shadows," "Junkie Dreams," and "Enough Rope" explore the darker aspects of life, while "Siren Song," "Blind Acrobats," and "Underneath Icicles" transport you to a dreamlike state with their romance-oriented verses. "Let Me Go To Hell" and "Man Out Of Time" are melancholic in their tone. In contrast, "Pictures" is a nostalgia-driven odyssey through the fleeting moments of one's youth. "Quick Love You" denotes a period where one is running out of time.

Soaked in themes of melancholia, nostalgia, and unrequited love, Midnight Light is full of touching moments that tug at your heartstrings. If you enjoy gothic romance poems that delve into topics such as loneliness, depression, and anxiety, you're going to find Michael Pace's and Brian Paglinco's work riveting to read. Each piece feels meticulously crafted and hits all the marks that the narrative is interested in. The photographs blend into the poems and add an extra layer of pictorial beauty to the pieces, making them all the more immersive. After finishing the book, you feel a sense of poignant contemplation as the poems leave a lot to reflect upon. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection, and I highly recommend it to lovers of poetry.