This book is a collaboration by two sisters. The book is organized into sections like an orchestra piece. The layout is lovely and bright.
Similar to having a program with the Creative Director's notes for a show, the reader is given a lens with which to view the poetry in the front of the book. Unfortunately, this actually made it difficult to enter into the world of the poet because it all became too contextualized.
My initial impression over a period of weeks left me most inspired by the photographs. Some would have been even more lovely if they had been expanded into half or full page layouts. "Japan Moon" with its deep blue evocative of the water imagery of the poem, and "Watercolor Lake" which allowed the reader to drift with the poet as she dreams of what may be, were favorites.
Many times the photographs provided a view with which to consider the poem more deeply. A few times, they became a distraction such as "Silence is Golden." The photo for "Unbearable" conveyed a completely different context then I read in the poem on it own. The warmth of the lush Victorian lamp juxtaposed against the white washed barn reminded me of the warmth and comfort of my old farm house.
The second read through I tried to let myself become immersed in the poetry. Some of the poems seemed to be so tied to the poet's life that I imagine they were cathartic for her but not very meaningful for a wider audience. Some of the images expressed were clichéd and the use of alliteration and parallelism was overdone. The use of darkness to convey sin and negativity were problematic stereotypes as well.
The one poem I really enjoyed was "the lovers" which breaks free from the fetters of youth and paints a picture of a love that is at once exciting an enduring. I especially liked "silted sand" has been sorted and still remains.
The final and eighth movement of the book seems to be more thoughtful with layers of meaning. This may be because they were written at a later time?
All in all, the book was a beautiful concept just not as inspiring or thoughtful as I hoped it would be.
I received a complimentary copy of A Symphony of Words and Images: Two Sisters, Worlds Apart, Creative Together as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.