Review of Optimism (by Mr. R. J. Dowell)

By Peter Dabbene
Copyright 2009 Peter Dabbene
ISBN 978-0-578-04116-2
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Review by Mr. R. J. Dowell (Milton Keynes, UK)

Like all intelligent reading, it sometimes takes time to absorb the message. I read this book over a period of 2 months, taking my time to appreciate both the way it was laid out and the meaning locked in many of the poems. It is strange how just a few words can release old memories that have been kept prisoner in my mind for all these years.

Peter Dabbene not only uses words and pictures to tell poetry, he also uses word layout, evoking memories and empathies in his prose. Some modern poetry gets lost in its own importance, and tries to be too clever, but that is not the case with this book. I found that just letting the words wash over me was a very interesting experience and lead me to stop half way through some poems just to enjoy a memory.

I especially enjoyed the poem ‘Snake (or SSS)’ for its imaginative layout, the way it slithers down the page. Other poems used combinations of words that, to put it simply, ‘Hit the nail on the head’, catching you unaware and filling your mind with images that aided in the poetries intent. The use of photos throughout the pages, helped anchor the poems and gave them context.

Everything about this book says ‘coffee table poetry book’, and in that it delivers, giving the reader something different, something that makes them think. Dip in, read, enjoy, and mull over all those thoughts and memories that will surely surface as a result.

I highly recommend this book to all those out there who are looking for a thought provoking and intelligent read.

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