Evens and Beginnings – A Collection of Odds and Ends by Remo Perini

I would love to have a book of poems dedicated to me and this further being offered by one of my sons would be a tribute indeed. And that is exactly what Remo Perini has done here, opening his collection with the most wonderfully written introduction, warm and self-deprecating, centring on his relationship with his mother.

The poems however, are about a variety of different subjects from attitudes to life to marriage and relationships, to national identity, and there is no doubt that Perini is an accomplished wordsmith. He is able to compose verse using a variety of different forms, sometimes with rhyme, sometimes without, but all with clarity of purpose and message.

There is a feeling that he is reflecting on his life experience in a lot of the poems especially “Ocean and the Coastal Lands” where he describes, using the imagery of the tide, the ebb and flow that make up a relationship as well as the contrasts that exist within attraction, and in “‘Til Death Do Us Part”, he discusses the joining together of two people and the poem reads like an advisory for anyone thinking of marrying with cautionary hints as to how best make it a success from the very start.

In terms of the poetry, there is not much to criticise here. The content of the words is good. However, the way that Perini has decided to format each page means that the book feels, to me, very busy. Every poem is super imposed over a photo and these are indicative of the content of the individual poem. I can see why he has done it, as a bright and vibrant tribute, and it makes for a book brimming with stimulus but I could not help but feel that the impactful nature of each page visually detracted from the vivid content of his words. For me, less would have been more.

That being said, I would ask that you do not let this deter you from reading his words as they show thoughtfulness and depth, and that if you can get past the way his words look on the page into the poems themselves, then you will be rewarded.

This review was first published on Reedsy Discovery where I was privileged to read it as an ARC.

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