Book Review: Rosebud
Reviewed by Samantha Hui
Rosebud hinges upon the delicate balance of earthy contradictions that are both a bane and a boon to life.
“The modern contagion: nature deprivation”
Rosebud is philosophically dense and lyrically alluring. Nick Jameson’s brilliant collection of poetry ponders the state of western civilization today and the ideal we have so strayed from. This book will make readers look up from their screens and wonder if what is in front of us is good or just. These poems ask us to climb to a higher vantage point and to see the world for what it is and to desire to make it better.
“Where the word ‘freedom’ is narrowly interpreted
Where it means ‘free to do what you want’
Never ‘freedom from the trespasses of others’”
Rosebud is ultimately a book about love and how to love the self and one another better. However, the definition of love has been marred and is conflated with the likes of lust and indoctrination. In redefining love, Jameson’s poetry makes the reader uncomfortable because greed and self-indoctrination have become the comfortable norm.
This book is political in the sense that the self has become politicized. People have become bodies that produce, produce, produce rather than be selves who create. The book seems to combat the idea of greed and evil being innate and suggests that good and evil exist within all people to choose for themselves.
“The highest pleasure received is from pleasure given. All love is an act of reciprocation. For when it is not, it is not love, but the lust of greed in one form or another; a weakening addiction.”
The book finds much strength and beauty in thoughtful repetition. Through every anaphora that occurs throughout the collection, meaning builds upon itself. For example, in the poem “Parchment of Page,” the word “hunger” is repeated at the beginning of every line of the first stanza. What could have simply been a poem about the wants of the speaker has become a poem that feels like a living creature, insatiable and looking to devour more. The poem is a beast that craves all that it cannot have. Through the use of anaphora, rhyme, and alliteration, this collection is alive and evolving.
“Only in freedom from risk is there regret
Only creatures of the darkest seas flee no net
Only in safety of certainty are full lives left unmet”
Another interesting aspect of the book is that the poems tend to steer clear of using hot-button terms concerning the trials of the present moment. The poetry speaks for itself and allows the readers to move beyond preconceived notions that are often associated with particular words. The book heavily emphasizes the virtue of doubting one’s beliefs so that one is never too comfortable as to miss out on the truth. Rosebud opens up the mind to constructive doubt and allows the reader to think for themself.
“Obfuscation cast as revelation, the deepest, darkest hole
concealed by a bright, gleaming white of entrapping invitation”
Rosebud is complex and sometimes difficult to immediately understand, but the message is well worth the patience. The language is beautiful and encourages you to devour more. During this time where values and intentions seem muddled, this book takes it upon itself to unveil the common corruptions of the world. A great choice for poetry and philosophy lovers
Print Length: 152 pages
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