When you read Blue Verses: Volume I. Of Love, Death, Angels and Demons, you get a real sense of the angst that the poet is trying to convey. I read the poems like a series of bad and good days within a life that was filled with uncertainty and doubt; lack of faith and lack of love; malaise and relevance of purpose. The use of stormy sea imagery used by the poet, I think, mirrors the emotions that Hernández is experiencing and vastness of what he is trying to reconcile in his mind through the writing of his poetry as well as the idea that he is trying to keep his head above water.
Despite the numerous sections with which Hernández has structured his collection, there is a sense of an oscillation between these ups and downs and this is reflected in the verse as the poems veer between a self-motivational talking-to where the questioning of feelings is paramount, to darker poems which reveal that whilst the poet wants to believe what he is telling himself, everything in the world around him indicates that it is to the contrary. And so the collection goes, wandering between philosophical musings to declarations of faith to examinations of love that has ended, to name the main themes.
I think that this collection represents in verse what young people face today: a world that seems hostile in so many ways; a need to find a purpose and a hope that that is the right path; a lasting powerful love which does not deceive; maintaining a faith, letting it light the way and anchor you to the world. With this in mind, I think that a younger audience will find Hernández’s words will resonate with them and will certainly comfort those who feel like they are the only ones who can possibly feel this way.
There were poems throughout the collection that stood out for me in their message, their rhythm or their content: Nowhere at All with its lines “I just feel like a stranger/In this endless and meaningless evening” which is succinct but imbued with meaning; Okay and its upbeat rhythm; Embrace the Void and its use of rhyme; Maybe Tomorrow with its attempted hope against bleakness; Essence for its roundedness and use of language and finally, Die Again and the alliterative lines ““Now I can’t conform/To the laws of this low world”.
This review was first published on Reedsy Discovery where I was privileged to read it as an ARC.