What a delight to read such a glowing review of Shannon Cuthrell‘s poetry book The Great Repression, which is about the author’s struggle with bipolar disorder, in the San Francisco Book Review. To read the review click here, or check out the text below.
THE GREAT REPRESSION
By Shannon Cuthrell
Think Piece Publishing
Young poet Shannon Cuthrell, in The Great Repression, shares stories of life, love, and loss in this evocative collection of embraceable, raw emotion, confusing and contradictory, yet equally beautiful. Insightful, meaningful, and courageous, the author’s writing opens a window into her world that serves equally well as a mirror for others. Colorful and expressive lines and phrases are craftily constructed, bringing ideas to life in poetic form. Lovestruck, the author “want[s] to dance to his every heartbeat and stargaze at his every freckle.” As if alive and complicitly scheming, “the bleak air swallowed [her] eyeballs.” Overflowing with melancholia, “[her] eyes [are] draining.” Three poems in particular create a lasting impression. For its insight into what it means to love someone, “I Will Hold” explores the undying devotion of a deep and genuine love for another. For its simple yet beautiful use of color, “War” illustrates the rapid fall of something built with equal haste. And, for its paradoxical “tangled order,” “You’re A Mess” finds value in a life messily lived. It is in this way that life is the most meaningful and the most appealing, where life is truly to be savored. Replete with symbolism and abundantly relevant to the content, the few illustrations included in the anthology are as telling as the writing, equal in their emotion and insight in every way except one. The drawings lack the maturity that the content of the collection seems to command. A collection of life lessons, The Great Repression demands bringing into one’s consciousness some compelling realities about life. As daring as they are universal, the paradoxes contained therein are worthy of consideration and likely to open a few eyes and melt a few hearts.
Reviewed by Laura Mahon