A postmodern poetic journey that captivates the reader with powerful imagery.
Someone once said that poetry is language dancing. This image is the first thing that comes to mind on seeing Luminita Serbanescu’s painting on the cover of this book and sets the tone for the poems within.
This is an esoteric, disparate collection of poems that will appeal to readers looking to define those often undefinable feelings of wondering, the distance between people, and the differences between East and West. The text excels at playing with words, a treat for readers who are more interested in the emotions language evokes than the actual meaning or intent of literal interpretation. The artwork ties in beautifully and enhances the feelings evoked by poet Mihaela Cristescu’s words.
The metaphors from each poem are captivating. In particular, Arbitrary Limitations powerfully draws the reader in. The poem starts, “Along the path of the bygone forest/ hot dry air encompassed me/ and I saw the waves of high-speed atoms/ feeding my eyes with dust.” This verse creates a verbal picture of an ancient forest and how it feels to look up. Then there is a twist to show that the image is designed to create a feeling, with Cristescu’s description of walking downwards to “avoid the avalanche of remarks.” This evokes the feeling of reading bad news, subject to the limitations of the words with which it’s written.
The lovely part of The Way You Dare is that the poems are open to interpretation. For this reason, the book would be ideal for use in a secondary classroom setting.
Romanian-born Cristescu has an impressive back-catalogue of published works, online and in print. Her passion for poetry, for daring the language to dance, shows through in every poem. This will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but a delight for the daring.
Reviewed by Michelle Baylis
Distributed by: Self-published
Released: October 2020
Approx RRP: AU$6.65