A Review of The World Is A Dark And Lovely Place by Carol Chu Mei Yin (review written by Liz Newman)
Classic. Charming. Elegant. These are the first words that came to mind upon reading The World Is A Dark And Lovely Place, a poetry chapbook written by Carol Chu Mei Yin. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the writer’s style was very reminiscent of classic poets with a modern-day twist. This chapbook of poems describes love, self-discovery, loss, and friendship with nature as its focal point of imagery.
The following is an excerpt from “The Rainbow’s End”, which was a fast favorite of mine:
“I danced along the unseen track, The path that leads to once spoken dreams, For these thundering dreams I will keep, Till at the last turning we shall meet. At the beating of the greying rain, I will find my home again, In the depths of this world, I will find my rainbow’s end.”
I loved the message of hope and perseverance present in this poem. The author describes with confidence her faith in her dreams and where they will lead her. No matter how much trouble life may bring or how turbulent changing circumstances may prove to be, the author is in pursuit of her rainbow’s end, of her dreams becoming a reality. I loved how she says, “for these thundering dreams I will keep” because I felt it tied in so beautifully with the theme of rainbows and changing weather, and it also served as extra emphasis of the power of her dreams: her thundering, roaring dreams, that are still hers to keep as her world changes.
The author writes quite frequently about the rain and the dark. I think these are both powerful symbols that can describe a myriad of emotions. The rain can be such a thunderous force of chaos, but it also has the power to have more nurturing traits. Its rhythm in harmony with the wind and the thunder can lead to a natural lullaby that comforts our minds and warms our thoughts. I know I have felt the peace that comes from listening to the rain. I think she captures this experience beautifully with her words in “Rain”.
“Missing You” is a melancholy poem of loss and reflection. An excerpt reads:
“I wish I could find you somewhere here, And life could be wonderful again, Though I know it deep that those times are past, Waking up from different dreams each day, And searching in the shadows you’ve left behind, You’ve meant me to be strong, Though now I stand alone in the dark, There’s something in the life you’ve left me behind, In the silence that floods each morning light.”
The author speaks to the deafening cry of loneliness, and how the silence can flood into our souls like the first light of day, bringing us back to reality and back to some cold truths we could hide from in the darkness.
I wanted to end my review with an excerpt from the title piece, “The World Is A Dark and Lovely Place”:
“Perhaps one could know where others are, if we look at skies and read the stars, Where we hide in this lonely world, Should we hope to meet again? When silence falls on a sleepy night, the world is a dark and lovely place.”
This poetry collection dances so beautifully between contrasting characteristics of various elements of nature. The rain can be thunderous but it can also be like a lullaby for soothing the soul. The dark makes us search our lonely hearts for answers, but it also envelops us in a comfortable quiet for dreaming and reflection.
The author moves seamlessly through subtle shifts of tone, like the shift of night to day. It feels natural and cyclical, comfortable in its reliable story-telling. The World Is A Dark And Lovely Place is a lovely collection indeed that will soothe your soul and comfort your heart.