Uncommon Poems for the Common People – A Review


by Charly Priest

Reviewed by Kelvin M. Knight

Yvette Prior from PriorHouse blog introduced me to this collection of poetry and I am glad that she did. First up, the cover is simple yet interesting and the book title drew me straight in, followed by these words from the Preface in rhyming poetry formation propelling me onwards.

…Suitable for those people who are not poetry experts,

but also for the so-called experts,

this is not a

piece of Shakespearian literature

this is raw, informal

yet also normal

for the common people

that don’t read Shakespeare…

Even though I have read Shakespeare (and can recite the odd soliloquy or two from Macbeth for my sins) I was undeterred because I like words and ideas that are different. And Charly’s collection of chaptered poems is certainly different. There is such a diverse feel to the poems here with the repeating themes of war, relationships, and self-development at the core. Indeed, I read poems about the ugliness of revenge and retaliation. I read poems about flirtation and prostitution and love ending. I read poems of shuddering, juddering purpose finding and trial by error transformation with moments of sublime realisation. These moments I wanted to cling to, for example whilst re-reading and savouring Recalibrate and Judging Is Great in Chapter Three – Life Reflections.

There is a rawness in Charly’s poetry that is refreshing – even though sometimes the poetry could be a tad too raw, and the imagery and emotion Charly’s trying to stir escaped me. And yet, upon reflection, in this rawness there is healing. Nowhere is this more obvious in the fifty poems in Charly’s collection than in my two absolute favourite poems Soul Searching from Chapter Four – Front Lines and the first I poem in Chapter One – Architect of Words:

I stare at the white wall I hear the water droplets fall

I stare at the water droplets fall I hear particles in the white wall

The overriding feeling I am left with upon completing Charly’s collection is honesty. Nowhere is this more beautifully expressed than in the poem Invisible People found at the beginning of Chapter Five – Humanity.

Charly’s book can be purchased here.


2 thoughts on “Uncommon Poems for the Common People – A Review

  1. Kelvin, I enjoyed your review very much. And as you know – because I introduced you to these poems – well I know his work a bit – BUT need to share that I learned more about them from your review. In fact, I am going to read it again – and then go back and skim the ones you mentioned.
    This was such a great review – and I shall be in touch again soon K to the 2

    Liked by 1 person

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