Score: 90/100 (9.0 out of 10)
Peacock Lane is a spirited collection of poetry (and some prose) passionately written by Emily Evans and lovingly compiled by her daughter, Victoria Winifred.
The poem “Nobody” was inspired by the works of legendary poet Emily Dickinson. It rhymes the words “divine and “sublime” as well as “moon” and “noon.” It is a very rhythmic poem. It seems to explore the transformative power of divine or spiritual experiences. “Arrows of the divine” seems to play upon the idea of being struck in the heart with conviction, perhaps having an epiphany.
The poem “Peacock Lane” seems to reflect on the excitement and traffic on the street that the poet lived on, something which would otherwise seem mundane. The poet employs impressive visual imagery, creating a sensory experience with descriptions such as “loops of wet heavy snow” and “black rubber wrapped electric lines.” Those two lines in particular create a sort of paradox in which the natural, rural setting is contrasted with some of its synthetic, urban elements.
Speaking of nature, there are a lot of natural observations such as Forsynthia blooming, cardinals, doves, and squirrels. It's reads almost like a fairy-tale—like Snow White in a sense.
There's also an aura of speculation and uncertainty in the poem, pondering what the weather and changing seasons will bring.
“The Final Cut” reflects on the death and destruction of a tree, and the descriptions are quite severe (no pun intended) and brutal. This might be some social commentary on the human tendency to prioritize short-term pleasures over long-term ones like the beauty of the natural world. It's like the meme about the person who—at Halloween—destroys a spider web only to put up decorative spider webs. It is full of ironies.
“The Pool” is a pretty complex and strange one. See, when we first read it, we thought it was about a little boy being stripped, pimped out, and trafficked for some reason! It reads like the story of a kid being kidnapped and abused. However, it seems that it's actually about the traumas of a boy visiting a pool for the first time, being self-conscious about changing (and taking off his clothes) in a public locker room and being grabbed and forced into water by an apparent swim instructor. This is ironic because one of us is a swim instructor and deals with these traumatic first, second, third, etc. experiences in the pool.
Something else we loved about this book is the art! The cover is really nice. The drawings, while not museum-worthy, are very appealing, almost like the black-and-white sketches in Pilgrim's Progress.
We especially liked the art of the birds, particularly the mother hen and her chicks.
Carrying on a loved one's legacy through publishing their older works is a really special thing. There are times when some of these works don't exactly read as finished or refined, almost as if the writer may have stopped in the middle of them. The content is also relatively sparse. Despite being just over 100 pages, you can read this in less than 30 minutes. In fact, we probably read it about six times!
If you love poems, definitely check this out on Amazon!