Fifty Confessions by Paul Kiritsis iUniverse
reviewed by Elizabeth Loveland
"All the meaning and purpose
That one is entitled to by right of birth
Are there; tangible and full of song..."
Fifty Confessions, Australian Paul Kiritsis third book of poetry, is the first centered on his experiences with an undiagnosed medical ailment and the medical establishments disbelief that anything is wrong with him. The book begins with an introduction in which Kiritsis describes the journey that led him to the internal place where he was inspired to write the book, and it is followed by six distinct sections of poetry, loosely grouped thematically. His poems embrace mythological and spiritual allusions, pop culture references, and many other disparate subjects; for example, these lines are from The island of silence:
The stone giants
Of worlds before our own
Remain animate only as long
As the sculptors
Who carved them
Live to translate
Their thoughts and feelings.
Kiritsis poetry displays a unique voice that is maturing. Readers who have had discouraging experiences with the medical establishment in their own life or second-hand via a loved one will likely find many of these poems especially relatable, with ruminations such as these lines from Diagnosis X:
Theres nothing wrong with you,
Except in that bent, little mind of yours.
Thats what they tell you when they dont understand.
Or simply when the answer eludes them.
And if they repeat it enough times,
They might convince you to believe it. Poetry readers that enjoy poetry comprised of vignettes that are laden with symbolism or evocative of emotional responses will also find many treasures to read in this volume, such as this from Black cobra: Instead of striking me
With her freckly fangs,
She dashed for the nearest rock
And buried her head under it,
Unaware that her limbless torso
Was still showing.
Kiritsis shows that he has much to say about both the external world and his internal world through his poetry, and readers can look forward to more volumes likely to come in the future.