I was gifted a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
James Revels III
Yesterday’s Tomorrow is the poetry collection of a beginner, which isn’t an insult. We all have to start somewhere. It’s just that I – and I’m no poetry expert – would have preferred more consistency in the meter and theme.
Meter: The meter in the poems was all over the place. They all started off strong, but it was obvious, at least to me, where certain poems should have ended because the meter would change causing the poem to end weakly. None of the poems themselves were bad, but some would begin like a fast-paced rap and end like a slow jam. Some people may be fine with this kind of change, but I, like I said before, prefer more consistency. If it’s going to be fast, be fast. If it’s going to be slow, be slow. Don’t start fast and end slow or vice versa. Though I might even accept a fast-slow-fast or a slow-fast-slow meter, but overall, I want a poem to end with the same kind of momentum and punch with which it began.
Theme: This collection is primarily poems about love and heartbreak, which is the usual theme of most poems, with other topics like life lessons thrown in. These aren’t bad topics, but, again, I would have liked if they were grouped together by theme instead of reading a love poem, then a heartbreak poem, an inspirational poem, and another love poem. This isn’t the actual order of poems in the book, I’m just using this as an example. I would have liked if each topic was group together unless a few poems were telling a story and needed to be grouped together. It seems like Revels knew which poems he wanted to include and just included them as is. The only poems that were successfully grouped the way I would have preferred were the sonnets. But even those disappointed me slightly, but again their topics seemed all over the place and could have been grouped better.
Nonetheless, there were lines that stood out to me that made this collection worth wild. There are lines that will resonate with people and overshadow any complaints they may have about the collection as a whole. The collection is worth a read simply for those moments of “wow” and “I needed that” and “I get that.” The following are my five favorite lines from the poems. They aren’t listed in order of appearance or how much I like them and they’re all from different poems.
- “I know more about who I could be in the future, / Then I know about who I am in the present.”
- “If this world was a machine, / I’d say it’s broken.”
- “Life is nothing, but dice used to gamble, / And we keep playing, even in shambles.”
- “A thousand miles, and that’s the closest we’ve ever been. / A thousand smiles, and still curious about what else could have been.”
- “To whom this may concern, / Don’t give up.”
This book is set to be available March 30, 2015.