The Long Body that Connects Us All Book Review3 min read

Author: Richard Marcello                         Published: 2018                               Pages: 60

This is the second poetry collection I have reviewed on Amy’s Bookshelf. I really enjoyed the last one so I was excited to pick up The Long Body That Connects Us All. As I’ve said before, I am definitely no expert on poetry (or on books for that matter) but this is just what I thought of this collection personally.

The book is split into three parts: In the Coming, Yab Yum, and Aether. There’s about 50-60 poems in total, all no longer than a page long. I didn’t find one obvious or striking theme throughout reading, but rather many, more subtle morals and ideas representing Marcello’s journey with his poetry. As the blurb states, his poetry is a “deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only later to discover a different path.” I think the best way to describe the poems’ overall message, is the idea of  a journey and the many contributing factors which define the directions we take while on that journey.

Right at the beginning, the two poems which struck me were Existential Bullets and I Do Now. The latter had this beautiful phrase: “how to accept your shadow as much as your light” and the former conveyed a powerful message about the dangers of setting a bad example: “After that, he, just a teenager, too young to know better, did the only thing he could: He followed.” The tone in all of Marcello’s was serious while also light-hearted, he manages to convincingly convey a wisdom about the things in which he is writing, while also remembering that everyone makes mistakes and that hindsight is a powerful thing.

I really got the sense that a lot of the poetry in this collection was Marcello portraying relationships between parents and children, and the way one learns from the other. From Yab Yum, I really liked the poem How We Struggle To Pass Down. I think Marcello wrote this about the difficulty of trying to pass down wisdom to your children, only to remember that you were once young and made foolish mistakes too. Here’s the last stanza, so you can have a taste of the poem:
Then I remember a young man his age,
convinced he knew better
than the men who came before him.
I remember what I must embody now:
he’ll have to learn on his own.

I like how a lot of Marcello’s poems were short and to the point. He really knows how to use words so he didn’t need many of them to convey his message. A lot of the poems were not as relatable for me, but I can see how they would be very empathetic for others. Overall I really enjoyed this collection and I look forward to reading his book The Beauty of the Fall.

Thank you to the author, Rich Marcello, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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