BOOK REVIEW: Dead of Night by Chris Mc Geown

Dead of Night is another book brought to you by a fabulous person I “met” using WordPress. 

Chris Mc Geown over at Short Poems and Other Nonsense is an amazing poet.  He crafts poems so dense & moving in so few words, I can barely express my awe.

Chris’s sister, Laura McGeown (I think I remember Chris mentioning there’s some confusion about how his last name’s spelled, even within his family), started a Kickstarter in his name in February 2018. 

She wanted to raise money to get his second book, The Man on the Moon, published.  In a sweet story recounted on the fundraiser page, she says she wants to give him an amazing birthday present – which ultimately came true! 

I went a little crazy & bought one of his bundles.  Luckily, the U.S. dollar was slightly stronger than the Canadian at the time. 

Still, it was worth the money – I got a copy of The Man on the Moon, Dead of Night, a book of his poems he calls his “b-sides,” & a lovely post card.  It’s blank, so I’m thinking of making it into a bookmark!

My copy of Dead of Night is even signed by the author!  True, he accidentally sent me a copy signed to the wrong person (yeah, I gotta put it out there, Chris; #sorrynotsorry), but he had some lovely things to say about the intended recipient!

(By the way, I emailed Chris when I noticed the mistake & he couldn’t have been nicer about it.  I explained to him that I only emailed him to make sure he was aware someone else was going to get a book autographed “To Ariel,” possibly calling me an “annoying git” or something.  I didn’t want him to be blindsided by that response.)


THERE IS NO WAY TO SPOIL CHRIS’S POETRY!  I’M INCLUDING SOME TANTALIZING SAMPLES, BUT YOU NEED THIS EXPERIENCE IN YOUR LIVES, PEOPLE!!


If you couldn’t tell, I LOVED this book!  Chris’s talent is obvious on every page.

Of course, as a blooming author, funding his own publication, there are some questionable choices & errors.  (To be fair, what I deem an “error” could be a stylistic choice; poetry is like that, after all.)  A couple of them were your standard “your” vs. “you’re,” or “than” vs. “then.”  It happens to all of us!

The poems are so short that it makes this book a quick read.  However, I’m sure that a second read would bring deeper meanings. 

Chris’s poetry themes vary, but I noticed a couple of common subjects:

  • Nature
  • Night
  • Beauty
  • Pain
  • Walls
  • Solitude
  • Mental health
  • Temporary/ephemeral nature of beauty

To give you all a tiny taste of Chris’s work, I want to include a poem or two.  Let me tell you, it was tough narrowing down the pack & deciding what to post. 

Every other page seems to have a tag reminding me it’s in the running for this post.  ARGH.  This is so frustrating – there are 7 poems that I can think of, off the top of my head, that I’m dying to include.  There all so good!!

I’m going to try to keep the formatting the same as Chris had it.  It’s often the unsung hero of poetry, IMO.


wounds

Wounds opened
By words
Are the toughest
To close.”


wisdom

For some reason
People seem to mix up
Getting locked into the serious
Expectations of societies dogmatic
Conventions
With growing up.
Be immature, find humor,
Be light-hearted and gentle;
Approach things with
The childlike expectation
That they will be fun;
You may never ‘grow up’ –
But you will grow wise.”


gaslight anthem

How cruel it is
To deny yourself something
Which is born from you,
Something so personal
And pure
As a feeling.”


Final Score:

5 out of 5 stars!  I’m sure you were all confused about how I was going to rate this book, huh?  It touched me on so many levels & evoked so many emotions.

No book – no matter the quality or experience of the author, nor how qualified the publication firm, is perfect. 

As first books go, I can’t speak highly enough of Dead of Night

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