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Holly, Newstead Shadowers

The Poet X

A mature and often nerve-racking read, The Poet X tells a thrilling and awakening story, which delves deep into the emotions of aspiring poet Xiomara, even conjuring these feelings in the reader's mind. All aspects of this book - from the sophisticated vocabulary and simplistic yet meaningful similes - is so eloquently evocative and uniquely-formatted, certain to brew tears, spark fear and paint beams across the faces of those fortunate enough to read it.

The story commences by introducing the reader to the bustling city of Harlem; Harlem is portrayed as a deafening area, with dark undertones which are expanded on throughout the city.

I personally marvelled at the use of Spanish dispersed throughout the book: not only did this show me culture and create a subtly sinister atmosphere (due to mild mystery of what may be being said; I was so curious that I looked up the translations on the internet) but it was a way of writing I had never been introduced to before. This is a technique I hope to utilise in my future writing!

Furthermore, the consistent and breathtaking use of poetry was another wise and distinct way of expressing the conflicting, unexpected and precarious gush of emotions which must be endured by Xiomara - in my opinion, there was no more suitable way to describe such a poignant emotional journey, especially since this way of writing links closely to the passions of Xiomara.

Expanding on the concept of a touching tale, this story, as harsh as the treatment of certain characters may seem, carries deep morals of acceptance and pride of your beliefs. One specific moment, which I will not directly name due to spoilers, that I found monumental was when Xiomara opened herself up to a new community - I find that nowadays, many people are very hesitant to create new friends, which is a characteristic portrayed in Xiomara. Xiomara could act as an inspiration to befriend a wider range of people, and open yourself up to a variety of new ideas.

What may seem an irrelevant and misplaced description, could be a metaphor, waiting to be deciphered. One example of this is a seemingly basic chapter, dedicated to the way X's father slowly unravels his orange peel. Strangely, this thought appears suddenly in Xiomara's mind during punishment. This may have seemed meaningless, but this specific and zoomed in moment links subtly to the moment she is in.

In my opinion, this book - all of its morals, its literary techniques, its beautiful plot - is a masterpiece. Though at first glance may seem ill-arranged, the charm lies in the detail, which this book is abundant in. I admire this book, and I am sure that soon its story shall soar across the nation.

Posted on: 14th May 2019 at 09:22 pm

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