These Dark Pages
by Jordan Parker

"So let this be a testament,
To why I love and hate,
The Past long years yet still no tears,
Turns out this was fate."

Society has been overrun with darkness. In this poetry compilation, Parker lifts the veil back through his own experiences and observations to depict a broken world mired in despair, ranging from stress and insecurity to hate and division. Using a steady, stylistic dose of narrative poetry, the author expresses feelings of resignation while decrying a superficial humanity. Rather than simply exploring a black and white version of death, Parker does a commendable job of helping audiences appreciate the concept of "finality."

Suggesting that mankind has become comfortable with hiding behind something, Parker's work on the surface is imbued with somber hopelessness and even suicidal musings. However, digging deeper, a sense of desperation for an alternate reality where love governs all is evident. Specifically, Parker imagines a globe where no nation militarizes—his version of a utopian life. Readers will embrace the lyrical tone and the short, succinct lines that integrate seamlessly with the vivid imagery, including but not limited to flaming skies and clawing sheets of perpetual ice.

In poems like "The Black Reservation," the repetition of dark images such as "throw me to the wolves" and "the tragic taunting opera" in "A Momentary Interlude" are just snippets of how the author weaves his way into the mind of his reader through scintillating, thought-provoking images. Perhaps the most compelling and haunting scene in the collection is when Parker conjures the image of his grandad only to find that his grandfather has absolutely no recollection of his grandson. Through Parker's lens, the vanity and insanity of the world are on full display in a compilation that makes it clear that death and finality are not just of the body but also of relationships, memory, etc. Nevertheless, love is the spark that helps audiences synthesize the darkness, yielding a meaningful read.

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