April 6, 2020

Review: Love & Misadventure, by Lang Leav


Title: Love and Misadventure

Author: Lang Leav

Illustrator: Lang Leav

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Date of Publication: 26 April, 2013

Number of Pages: 176

See it on Goodreads: Love and Misadventure


Summary

Lang Leav is a poet and internationally exhibiting artist. Awarded a coveted Churchill Fellowship, her work expresses the intricacies of love and loss.

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

Review

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

***

There is a time when your heart just needs some love poetry to soothe itself and let the feelings flow. Poems that can put to word what you are feeling and express your inner struggle better that you could ever do with your own words. A very nice example is the above poem - [i carry your heart with me] by E. E. Cummings. However, this is not a review of Cumming's work.

In this review, we are going to talk about the development and failure of a love affair, as is told through the poems of Love & Misadventure, by Lang Leav. This book kept popping up to me and I decided to read it (since I was in that set of mind). Unfortunately for me, I was quickly disappointed. But before digging into that, I have to let you know that I waited for a while before writing this review. You see, the previous book I read was A Lover's Discourse, which I found to be an excellent exploration of the nuances of love. So, I tried to figure out if my disappointment in this collection of poetry originated from the fact that I had read this book before. Upon re-reading some of the poetry though, I realised that my impression remained the same.

Love & Misadventure is divided into three parts - 1. Misadventure, 2. The Circus of Sorrows, and 3. Love. At the beginning of each part, we also have an illustration created by the author. The illustrations had a nice art style, even though they didn't add anything to the book as a whole. However, it got me thinking how can you add illustrations to a collection of poetry to create an impact on the reader? I think that I would prefer to have smaller ones that accompany certain poems, and ones where the girl depicted showed more emotion. Right now, the illustrations are pretty, but the expression is completely blank.

When it comes to the poems (the main problem of the book) I am at a complete loss. I don't want to sound harsh, but I had to stop reading and ask myself "Why am I reading this?" several times. There is no way that these poems could stand on their own. I mean that as a whole, I could force myself to extract a narrative, a story that they tried to convey. Nevertheless, this doesn't improve their quality. The vast majority of the poems reminded me of the poems we used to write as elementary school children, and this is not an exaggeration. A perfect example is the poem Xs and Os:

Love is a game
of tic-tac-toe,
constantly waiting,
for the next x or o.

And that's it. I was reading page after page in hopes that they would improve somehow, but it never happened. I wondered if this was somehow my fault that I was failing to connect with the poems, but I couldn't find a reason to like them. Yes, I understood the basic feeling that each poem tried to express, but it just remained on the surface. I could just write

Hey, do you remember
how it is to have a crush
on someone
and keep getting ignored?

and it could sum up perfectly the spirit of this collection.

Having said that, I have to be fair and admit that the prose poetry included was slightly better and I even enjoyed those pieces. Some had some whimsical elements and I wish there was more of that. I think that it would make the collection much much better.

All in all, Love & Misadventure was a big miss for me. I really enjoy reading love poems and I can't describe my disappointment enough. I'm not even sure if I want to try reading the following poetry collections of Lang Leav. Instead, do yourself a favour and read the above E. E. Cummings once more.

Read more reviews here.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Konna, A very well-considered review. What's the best way to find your review policy and submit a book for review if it fits your interests?

    Damyanti (atozstorieas at gmail dot com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! Thank you for your kind words. I will email you my review policy (I'm currently updating it on the blog), in order to take a look at the book you want to submit :)

      Delete

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