A Review

The Book’s hardcover & paperback editions are now available for preorder from ‘Barnes and Noble’ via this Link >> Tullawalla by Ivor Steven, Kerri Costello, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

A Review

Review of Tullawalla, a book of poems, by Ivor Steven
By. Ingrid (Slovenia), Experiments In Fiction > https://experimentsinfiction.com/2021/01/09/interviewed-for-spillwords-spotlight-on-writers/#more-9325

I have just finished reading Ivor Steven’s enchanting poetry collection, Tullawalla. The collection is subtitled ‘A Meeting Place/Where My Empty Hands Are Full Of Memories And Rhymes.’ Just how appropriate the title and subtitle are will become apparent to anyone reading this collection soon after they begin.

Divided into chapters, this poetry book reads like a story, with each chapter delightfully different from the last but fitting within the overarching poetic spectrum of the collection.

Ivor’s subjects range from nature through love and loss to the realm of fantasy and beyond. What comes through most strongly in the work is the poet’s undying love for his deceased wife, whose presence is felt on every page, even where she is not the direct subject of a particular poem. He deals directly with his loss in the chapter ‘My Empty Hands Are Full Of Memories and Dreams.’ The poem ‘Everlasting smile’ brought tears to my eyes. It begins with the lines:

“My eyes, narrowly cracked
My cheeks, slightly etched
I rest here, retracing every mile
Remembering, your everlasting smile

The acid test for poetry as far as I’m concerned is ‘does it touch the heart?’ and Ivor’s book does more than this: it breaks the heart then puts it back together again, then lifts it up above the clouds into a landscape of rainbows and dreams:

‘I then saw in our narrowing crevasse
the universe, in a blade of grass

The above poetic nod to Whitman is found in the poem ‘My Neighbour Wasn’t Mowing His Lawn.’

There are so many warm moments in this book, from a simple delight in nature (e.g. ‘Grasshopper’s Hallelujah’) to a childhood memory of a bushfire (‘In The Light Of Night’), that it’s impossible to feel sad after reading it, though some of the subject matter is indeed harrowing.

I am also impressed by Ivor’s range of poetic subjects: from a trilogy of poems about his own personal dragon to his experience of sleeping ‘like a white chocolate Jesus’ during quarantine; there is literally never a dull moment in this collection.

My verdict? I cannot recommend this title highly enough. Ivor’s distinctive poetic voice and narrative skill combine to transport the reader to a better place beyond the spectrum of our everyday worries, doubts and fears.

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G'day, and welcome to my blog site. My name is Ivor Steven, I live in Geelong, Australia. I'm an ex-industrial chemist, and a retired plumber, and a former Carer of my wife(Carole), for 30 years, who suffered from severe MS. I Write poetry about those personal thoughts, throughout and beyond my life as a Carer. I've been blogging for over 2 years, and writing poems for 19 years. Of course a lot of my poems are about my favourite subject Carole, but since I've been blogging my writings have become quite varied, humourous, mystical, observational, and even a few monster/horror poems.

59 thoughts on “A Review”

  1. YAY!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited!!! Congrats, Ivor! And be proud of yourself for all of the time, effort, heart, ETC., that you put into your poems and into your book!
    You did a fantastic job of how you chose poems and how you put them together into chapters!
    Your book is a beautiful, heart-touching, uplifting memoir of your thoughts, emotions, wisdom, and life-stories in poetry-form! Brilliant! 🙂
    Bestest wishes as you sail (or fly, Ha!) around the world through your book! 😉
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You will! Your book is going to take you to all corners of the world…and it will travel farther, and longer! What a wonderful legacy you’ve just given to the world! 🙂 I think about 40 + years from now when someone picks up your book and reads it and is helped by it! I get all teary-eyed thinking about this! Your book will out live us by generations! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an incredible review! Wonderful, Ingrid! ❤ I believe there is not a genre in which you do not excel!

    Ivor. the music is lovely and touching and goes so well with your beautiful poem, "Dreams of the Heart."

    I plan to purchase the book from Amazon and leave a brief review there. Hopefully, you will receive quite a few reviews from your WordPress friends! 🙂 All the best!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Cheryl for all lovely words, I am humbled and proud that my turned out so good.. Always Leonard Cohen, he has a big throughout my writings… And I am overwhelmed with the responses I have been receiving . 😊💙🌏🍾

      Liked by 2 people

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