Monday, June 27, 2005

'Caliban's Redemption' David Parry (review)

Reviewed by Charlotte
The prospect of writing a review…of a book of poetry…I must admit threw me into a state that was uncomfortably reminiscent of school assignments and essays and said assignments subsequent desecration of beauty in the name of literary analysis.

So I'm going to bypass that conditioning of old, and write this my way: warts, stilted grammar, sloppy syntax and all.

I was given 'Caliban's Redemption' some time ago, despite my interest in poetry having diminished over the years in favour of non-fiction with the occasional embellishment of literary fluff. Thus it wasn't until last week that I started, finally, reading 'Caliban's Redemption' and discovered a truly wonderful and fascinating book.

The contents are poetry mixed with what I consider to be a poetic prose which form a series of themes that can be flow read over to simply appreciate the beauty of the words, structure and emotional effect; or read more deeply to enjoy the excitement of insights around perspectives of beauty and grotesquery; sexuality and magick and concepts of non indulgent, angry, vital and transformative alienation.

The book alludes to the work of Nietzsche, Spinoza, and Crowley, as well as to Greek and Egyptian Mythos, and concepts of initiation.

This is never done in a trite and clichéd manner though, and always touched with a depth and perspective that opened up new directions of thought and emotion for me. Despite the more cerebral references and explorations, this is also a very physical and earthy book.

It is about power and strength and the joy that can be found in spinning conditioned values of right and wrong, good and evil, beauty and ugliness on its head.

It is a descent into an underworld and a return as a sweat and semen stained, dirty, ugly, angry and very empowered God.

The cover is great; an image of a befurred, bellied beast of a man, face obscured in foliage; apt imagery considering the contents and a powerful call for me to return to my old love and enjoyment of poetry.


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