Dreams Upon A Visionby Gary Wack
"Dreams upon a Vision" is a book of poetry which encapsulates surrealism and intertwines it with the waking and dreaming state of being. It's a personal journey through the psyche and the imagination.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.77(d)
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I read this book a while ago, but didn't think to post a review until I started seeing reviews pop up here. I figured that I would finally chime in. This is probably one of the strangest books of poems I've read in quite a while. The poems in the beginning seem simple and quant, such as the one entitled "The Spectator" with its "Flowing wetness, Shapely figure", but after about mid-point in the book things start to get a bit weird, such as in the poem "Surrender of the Soul" where "Darkness becomes lavender as the resuscitation of the soul ignites the organs within my burning body", then it get really creepy in the last section of the book. I say creepy, because in "The Abyss" chapter, it includes some really disgusting sexual imagery which I won't repeat here. I won't say it goes too far, but the imagery reminds me of some kind of perverted sadism and masochism type activities. I'm pretty liberal, but some of his imagery put me off a bit. The last chapter of poetry entitled "The Orchid" kind of redeemed it for me. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, but some of the lines within "The Orchid" got me a bit warm, such as "You make me shiver and shake within these bound fields and loose leaf nights." and "I feel your inner cloves as you close the petals and breathe into me". There are two short stories in the end of the book which are pretty good, but I liked the "Circle within the Circle" the best out of the two. Anyway, I was only going to give this 4 stars, but the love poetry in "The Orchid" chapter put a smile on my face, so he definitely deserves a 5. Keep writing Wack. I'm becoming a fan. :)
I actually bought this book of poetry with the thought that it was going to be a children's verse of poetry similar to the book of verse by Shel Silverstein entitled "Falling Up" but was surprised to find that it held no similarity to any child-like verse and message. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by its adult vision of the world in a new light. Think of the poetry and vision of Hart Crane, or the unnatural vision of Allen Ginsberg, or the grotesque vision of Charles Baudelaire and you might see a similarity and vision of Wack bleeding through. I say "bleed" because some of Wack's more grotesque visions are rather outrageous and vibrantly ugly with a hint of sarcasm. I think some (like the previous reviewer) might see his work as amateur, but I see the malformed lines, style, language, and vision as purposeful, even humorous in it's insult to tradition. I don't normally read poetry because it is either too dry or too pompous. Wack's poetry seems to begin with a simple style (similar to the short style of William Carlos Williams), then he expounds into a longer free verse where each sentence within each stanza takes on a single thought which adds to the uniqueness and overall complexity of the vision within. Yes, his work is difficult to read at times as the style is unusual (i.e. each sentence is like a complete thought and lines don't always blend from one line to the next as found in most poetry today), but so was the rude existential style of the novels written by Milan Kundera. Like Kundera's works, I believe that Wack will also receive some mixed reviews. Either you will love it or you will hate it, but either way, you will enjoy the metaphors and his intense mix of words that are very foreign to each other. I can't wait to see what his next books will reveal. Maybe they will return to a traditional style. Even Ezra Pound said of poetry, "Make it new". In so doing, I enjoyed the way Wack uses the metaphysical in his creation. I do hope that like Pound, Crane, and others, Wack mixes more intertextuality into his future works. Overall, I recommend this book. It seems to mix nature and its blend of nature with the unnatural rhythms of humankind and throw at you a sense of purposeful sarcasm within his play of language, words, and vision.
There are too many poems being churned out today that are either mundane or vapid. I'm doing my undergrad in English Literature right now and I can tell you that I see too often, those around me who write poetry as if it were some homage to either the classical tradition or the Beat poets. While I enjoy reading Homer and Jack Kerouac, I find it tiresome that some would continue mindlessly emulating the previous greats without stepping outside the box. Don't get me wrong, I believe that taking from the greats and incorporating it into your own poetry is a good thing, but not if it ultimately devalues your own poetry and doesn't allow you to experiment and grow. This is where I think Wack succeeds. His poetry isn't just a repetition of what's come before. His style and language are unorthodox, I'll give you that, but I believe his effort, creativity, and imagination show through. I wasn't going to post a review as I didn't buy his book, but I did read some of it in the college library and I thought it was rather remarkable. Remarkable, because it really does offer something unique. His poetry is experimental, which you just don't see very often in poetry today. I also have to give him a lot of credit for sharing his work with the world, and I'm glad he did. Oh, and I have to add that I'm pretty sure that the lower case "u" of "upon" in the title was done intentionally, just like some of the word play in the rest of his poetry. Sorry Anonymous, but I think you are in the minority here. There are a lot of things that pass as poetry these days, and I don't think you can say that anything is truly amateur without first considering how one would quantify poetry and what makes one poem better than another. It really comes down to a matter of opinion because there really is no right or wrong answer. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Personally, I believe that Wack's poetry stands out from the rest. I also think that it is ahead of its time and perhaps someday, you might see other budding poets trying to emulate him. lol. Anyway, enough with the rant. Just buy the book!
This book is filled with elementary level poetry. The formatting of the poems is awkward and makes it more difficult to read than it already is. For some unknown reason "upon" isn't in uppercase with the rest of the title. It is clearly amateur work, and while I believe there may be potential buried inside, the language and style used to convey the ideas is simplistic and fragmented at best.