A time-honored form of self-inquiry, poetry begins as a conversation with ourselves before the page lifts the veils of perception. Language becomes a snapshot, ephemeral yet forever subject to interpretation.
As curiosity guides us toward a better understanding of what it means to be a human in the world, life happens, one jolt of the compass, one poem at a time.
The final instalment of Nuno Ricardo’s poetic trilogy, Drawings is an invitation to embrace the unknown with hope, surrendering expectations to better consider the possible.
Drawings: A poetic study of writing, philosophy, and time is a good book of poetry. At times, it reminds readers of the Romantic style of poetry with flowery language full of end rhymes and strict poetic forms. Ricardo keeps their desire to write form poetry just like a villanelle, repeating. Form poetry restricts writers in a way that creates poems full of life and magic. Ricardo harnesses form poetry and creates some chunks of gold on the page.
Interspersed between the poems are amazing black and white drawings. These pictures relate to the forthcoming poem and create finely spun threads between the drawings and poetry.
Because of how often Ricardo uses traditional poetic forms, readers start to expect the lines that eventually come. The continual use of the villanelle form tends to dull down that would otherwise be strong poems. Many of the poems are full of unexpected choices of words and line breaks that upend the expectations of each reader. Because readers read so many villanelles, the shock of those words is blunted through knowing when line repetitions will happen.
Some poems in Drawings… tend to be too abstract. There aren’t enough concrete images needed to ground the reader in some of the poems. But, at times, the abstractness creates poetry that hits each reader like a truck. Poems like “My timelines are strings entangled in poetry,” “Selling salt to shores,” and “When the frost begins” excel with their use of abstract ideas and tie them succinctly to the themes and concrete images used.
Drawings... is a book of poetry and drawings about what it’s like to be human. In a world where the definition of humanness is constantly evolving, we see a snapshot of what Ricardo vision of the human condition. Drawings… creates a strong conclusion to the end of Ricardo’s poetic trilogy.
Freelance writer, editor, and reviewer. Kain edited poems for Portal Magazine in their 2019 and 2020 editions. He recently finished an internship with EVENT magazine and graduated from Vancouver Island University with a BA in English and Creative Writing. Check on his website for editorial rates.