Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Particular Books (1st Oct 2015)
The epic made simple. The miracle in the mundane.
One day, while browsing an antique store in Helena, Montana, photographer Tyler Knott Gregson stumbled upon a vintage Remington typewriter for sale. Standing up and using a page from a broken book he was buying for $2, he typed a poem without thinking, without planning, and without the ability to revise anything.
He fell in love.
Three years and almost one thousand poems later, Tyler is now known as the creator of the Typewriter Series: a striking collection of poems typed onto found scraps of paper or created via blackout method. Chasers of the Light features some of his most insightful and beautifully worded pieces of work—poems that illuminate grand gestures and small glimpses, poems that celebrate the beauty of a life spent chasing the light.
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I bring a review today for you all, that I know will be a hit and miss. Courtesy of Penguin who sent me this stunning book by Tyler Knott - a collection of photographs merged with poems to ignite the inner poet in you *cheesy winks all around*.
At first glance, this seriously is beautiful - I’m a sucker for hardbacks in general but the cover on this itself really appealed to me - the subtle play of light and bokeh, streaks of blue and beige makes the cover a joy to behold. Within it’s pages are also features that appeal to the inner stationary whore in me. The short poems and passages are typed up on different bits of paper, whether they be torn, lined, grid, hole punched, blacked out pages, coffee stained paper and much more. There’s also sunsets and sky photography shots (which, as an amateur photographer myself) I loved seeing. It’s a lovely combination of all my passions for me personally, the poems, photos and composition of each page. It emits an almost vintage feel to the book.
As for the poems themselves, I’m going to hazardously use the same phrase from the beginning of the review - that the poems are hit and miss. It’s easy to be swayed by style and flourish of the book and forget to look into the content as objectively, which is possible in this case. I truly love some of the poems (which for your viewing pleasure I have featured some of my favourite ones) but the others are mediocre at best. Again, examples of which have been provided. They lack substance and depth and instead rely on the props of the book to wash them through. Some poems are just wishy washy phrases and passages that have been broken down in terms of presentation. I think something I would have greatly appreciated more is the content being based on more than just the emotions associated with loving a woman. All poems revolve around that theme and I feel like the author could have gotten more depth and substance had he branched out into more topics like friendship, loyalty, family, passions unexplored - just something more.
Branching off slightly here, but, if we’re to read “too much into it” and question the real nature of this book and the content, it would bring you to the ever present nuance of social media. The author has a whole host of social media platforms at his disposal through which he distributes and creates his art form - Instagram mainly, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest - the usual gang members. Some may beg the question (and I’m not sure whether I’m included in that some or not yet) whether this short and easy snippets of work through this platforms can really be considered “art?”, as subjective as it is, or is it just an easy way of making a buck from your pass-times by playing on the current aesthetics and trends to portray a deeper side to a basic trend? Who knows, who knows, for I surely do not for one, but thought it was worth mentioning in my review as social media is such a prominent and omnipresent feature; the transformation of thoughts to art and poetry is intriguing.
Drawing back in to the book review itself, I will add that poems are so subjective (in my humble opinion) and can affect each reader differently based on their experiences - true of any piece of literature, but with poems I feel like it’s something “otherly”. For some a mere simple words written without any flounce is enough to hit home and transport them to a memory, place or time - for others it’s the intricate winding of words and contextual breadth that means something. The intent behind poems is meant to be to inspire and draw forth emotion - and in that sense poems are more subjective for the readers. I say all this because these poems are largely to my taste - without limiting myself to just certain types and styles, I will admit that yes I’m a fan of cheesy one-liners and maybe some overly obvious phrases in my poetry and taste. For others that may not be the case. Regardless, for me, this was a lovely book and I’m glad to have gotten my hands on it. Would I recommend it? Yes, I would, but don’t expect your soul to burst into flames from the breadth and depth of it all.