Friday, March 02, 2007

Review of "The Invisibles"

The Invisibles
A Collection of Poetry & Artwork
Written and Illustrated by Donia Gobar
iUniverse Books
Click Here to Order

Poetry and I don't usually get along. However, when I see poetry AND artwork together in one book, I want to give the book a try. I was not disappointed by The Invisibles. The illustrations are lovely, often haunting, and unforgettable. The poetry, while it looks simple, is, upon further reflection, deeply complex and thoughtful. The poetry is so wide and varied that the reader will never be bored or become tired of the book before it is finished, indeed, many will want to read the book over and over again.

While the book isn't terribly long, 116 pages, the author and artist, Donia Gobar, easily covers many of life's moments. The first poem is a very sweet one, of a little boy playing alongside a creek while his mother snoozes in the sun. A few pages later, the book leans toward the serious and heartbreaking, with a poem that speaks of a six year old child living in a war-torn land, walking through broken homes and bodies, the loss of his mother, the gloating of generals, the bottles of vodka, and, in the end, the poem says:

"And you ask yourself,
What for?"

It' s so easy to imagine yourself as the small, frightened child, wise and old beyond his years.

Many pages later, Gobar takes us into room 223 of Pittsburg's hospital, where we find a woman of indeterminate age gazing at the familiar, unvarying walls, signs, and flowers around her. The conclusion at the end is that the woman is laying in the bed, where she has lost a day of her life.

My favorite poem in the book is on page 89. It's called The Mute Shore In Me.

Look at those rushing, young emotions,
racing with children of the sea,
scattering diamonds of illusion.

Tipsy, with the wine of crimson dusk,
rising, falling,
and with half-breed twilights,
and with the mystic blue moon
singing, dancing...

Again and again and again

The old shore in me watches
stretching out it's world-weary being,
its vulnerable soft edges,
where the young waves play
night after night,
day after day...

I found this book to be wonderful, all around. The illustrations that accompany the poems are perfect, and the poetry is well written and thought out. A great book for any library!

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