The Land of Bad Dreams

Kyla Lee Ward. P'rea (www.preapress.com), $18 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-9804625-7-9
Traditional poetic meter and verse forms serve as vehicles for macabre themes that challenge their restraint in Ward's captivating collection of weird poetry. In "Mary," written in rhyming quatrains, a dead lover entices his betrothed to a graveyard bridal bed. In "The Torturer's Confession," a dramatic monologue related in iambic pentameter, a torturer likens the wrack to a seductress who ministers to her victims as a lover. A trio of prose poems—"The Bat's Boudoir," "The Cat's Cortège," "The Rat's Repast"—are told as sardonic fables whose animal characters subtly show their predatory side. Ward (Prismatic) has a talent for using alliteration ("Slowly, smoothly, serried they circle") and the rhythm of her lines to conjure images perfectly suited to the eerie subjects of her constructions. This is especially evident in "The Feast of Mistrust," a lengthy narrative poem about familial skullduggery and intrigues in an imaginary kingdom that concludes the volume. Fans of the supernatural who like poetry in the classic Romantic tradition will enjoy this collection. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 09/01/2011
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