My book journal #3 – ‘Welcome to the Sombre Days’ by Jeremy Mifsud

Jeremy Mifsud Property

Thank you Jeremy for this opportunity to review your second poetry collection – ‘Welcome to the sombre days’. I have been writing poetry for the last 5 years so i thought reviewing a collection of poetry wouldn’t be a herculean task for me. Boy!Was I wrong? And that too in such humongous scale. I had promised Jeremy I would post a review by last Wednesday(09-05-2018). But here I am, 5 days behind schedule,still rereading his book to make sure that i haven’t missed the imageries, thoughts and deep insights wrapped elegantly in his verses.

First of all, let me ask a basic question to the readers. How do you judge something that is so personal? How do you pass a comment on someone’s soul parted in half and placed in a platter? Well, that’s Jeremy’s poetry for you. Poetry that’s raw and deep which takes you too close to a human’s beating heart scarred with the traumas in his life. And here we are on the other side, as readers, holding a wounded heart eavesdropping to its every sob and every wail,forgetting at times it is not our own. Then we find ourselves face to face with the author who directs us to the thought – aren’t we all worth love? Aren’t we all lovers , neck deep in pain playing with each other’s wounds? Don’t we all need each other; to survive, heal and to survive above the meaningless tragedy of our everyday lives? So we lean in and listen, still unsure if we are intruding or consoling.

These deep wounds on my skin

need you as their band-aid.

Your love eases my pain;

be my cure,

be my medicine.

Through each chapter in this book, Jeremy is trying to inspect and balm the wounds in his heart, the oldest ones first. In the first chapter, ‘puppet strings’he takes us through a world that makes sure that every kid passes through a mold of expectations and comes out the way his/her society or family or peers expect them to be. As a little boy with long hair, often mistook as a ‘daughter’ instead of a ‘son’ the kid wonders why he cant play with both barbie dolls and super heroes, a best of two worlds? In his world, still unaware of the harshness of inequality, he feels that he is a puppet whose every move and every glance is rehearsed and all the credits for his life goes to the masters who simply pulls his strings and shoves him around.

my master stole the applause-

whilst putting me back on the shelf.

In the second chapter, ‘Welcome to the sombre days’ Jeremy takes us through the ordeals of discovering his sexual orientation and coping with the depression that followed. Poems in this section reflect his inner turmoils  and indulgences . He gets addicted to video games and clubbing, an alternate reality in which he still felt like a hero, claiming a sense of pride and self respect he was devoid of in the real world.But as a result his grades plummeted, his relationships started to suffer. Even when he says

Your stare is gone,

but so is every part of me

about a failed relationship, he is ready to wrap himself in the chaos of this world just to escape from the hard task of being himself.

Bang my head against the wall

not to let silence birth itself,

turn the volume up

so the world matches my unrest.

The third chapter, ‘silver linings’ is more hopeful and positive. Here author tries to find a balance in his life through two years of psychotherapy, blogging and a steady relationship. He also stopped clubbing and concentrated on his studies more. He eventually finds solace in books and poetry.

Books grow legs

and chase me wherever I go.

Between these sheets of paper,

I belong.

Fourth and the final chapter is about ‘finding the warrior within’. No matter who comes and leaves, no matter the hardships, the best part of life is life in itself, this opportunity to live, love and be loved. No matter the struggle, to know that you always have the option to  emerge as a stronger and better person. Each time the world knocks us down,get back up on your feet and show the world ‘I ain’t done yet, I have got more’. Author leaves the reader with a note of optimism and hope.

In my opinion, some of the poems especially in third and fourth sections felt too shallow. It lacked the depth and rawness like its predecessors.They were simply picturesque or narratives of things as it is. I missed the sting that most of the poems in the sections one and two gave me. I also felt that the writer shouldn’t have explained his life in prose in the beginning of each section. Because for me poetry has always been about the million interpretations and images a reader can draw from it, unaware of what actually the poet was thinking. Of course, the introductions gave me a clear understanding of what the poet’s thought processing was. But it robbed me of the opportunity to use my own imagination and experiences to interpret the poems.

Over all, the book took me on an emotional roller coaster. I clinged in there, hoping to know more, yet sad because all the traumas explained in these poems were relatable. I have lived them all, either as a fear or insecurity in my own life or watched it feed on a dear friend’s. Poems like ‘archetypes’,’fragments of memory’, ‘outcast’, ‘blossom(2)’, ‘skin to skin’, ‘ghost’, ‘uncertainty, and ‘crossroads’ were my personal favorites. I also liked the structure of this collection,well organized into chapters with several poems, each poem with an apt title. Most of the writers have difficulty with naming a book or each chapter, but author has gone into the hard work of naming each of his poem and emerged successful in his venture.

I wish the poet,Jeremy Misfud all the best with this poetry collection and all his future releases.Keep that pen wet always! 🙂

Read more about the book at:

%d bloggers like this: