Welcome to my Sunday book review. Today I’m reviewing Pebbles to Poems by Frank Prem. This book is a beautiful little prequel to some of Frank’s various works. If you aren’t familiar with Frank’s interesting styles of poetry and story-telling, this book is a perfect way to taste his work.
Pebbles to Poems is a sample pack of Frank Prem’s free-verse poetry and storytelling published between 2018 and 2020. Extracts from six collections, ranging through memoir, and wildfire though to contemporary love poetry.
Small Town Kid – growing up in a rural Australian town during the 1960s and 70s.
Devil In The Wind – the stories of victims and survivors of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires in Australia.
The New Asylum – an experience of public psychiatry in Australia, from childhood roaming the mental hospital grounds, through student psychiatric nursing and on to managing acute wards and patients.
A Love Poetry Trilogy:
Walk Away Silver Heart – derived from the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’.
A Kiss for the Worthy – derived from the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’.
Rescue and Redemption – derived from the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.
This is poetry that is meant to be read on the page and aloud, as well. Poetry the way you always wished it could be written.
My 5 Star Review:
This book is a delicious sampling of extracts from some of the works of Frank Prem. The first collections are written in personal memoir style, poetic reflections of growing up in rural Australia in the 1960s and 70s from his book – Small Town Kid. Prem shares in his poetic anthology about his personal experiences with the 2009 wildfires in Australia in his book – Devil in the Wind. And more experience shared from his background in working in a mental asylum, and then as a nurse in the public mental health system, offering a taste of his poetic telling from his book, The New Asylum. These stories are exposés of life through the eyes and experience of Prem and the public psychiatric system, spanning five decades as Prem shares some of the shenanigans that went on, giving us a glimpse of life in the public psychiatric system, written in the style we’ve come to know from Prem, with his free-verse poetry.
In the last part of this book, Prem revisits some of his beautiful poetry from his love trilogy and shares snippets from the three-book collection – Walk Away Silver Heart, Rescue and Redemption, and A Kiss for the Worthy, a personal collection of love poems with lines taken from various reknowned authors, converted into Prem’s own self tellings with his unique form of poetry.
If you enjoy personal poetry and memoir written in poetic style, you are sure to get hooked on Prem’s writing as he breathes new life into both, old styled and new poetry.
Below are links to three reviews I previously wrote for Frank’s Love Trilogy:
Rescue and Redemption – https://dgkayewriter.wordpress.com/sunday-book-review/
Walk Away Silver Heart – https://dgkayewriter.wordpress.com/sunday-book-review-walk-away-silver-heart-poetry-frank-prem/