Promising to be a tale of heartbreak and becoming, Tee’s Silent Muse is very much in ‘vogue’ as a poetry collection. In recent years, ‘poetry’ has become to mean thoughts/statements as well as pieces of free verse and form. For me, this extension of what poetry is has sometimes lowered the calibre of work published. Consequently, the work in Silent Muse read more as journal entries than poetry.
Over two hundred pages long, Silent Muse could have been the quarter of this length, with several pieces becoming repetitive and clichéd by the end. Although I do not doubt many will find peace and solace in Tee’s words on acceptance, love, the future and her faith; these themes felt belaboured. The structure lacked cohesiveness too; despite being split into five volumes, the pieces fluctuated between the themes above and so there didn’t seem to be any real progression throughout.
All this said, there were hidden gems which, if developed, could have enabled Silent Muse to flourish. ‘Sketchbook’ is a gorgeous exploration of the creative process (I’d break my bones, just to place them on canvas’), and several of the unnamed pieces are poignant comments on the nature of healing (‘I survived beautiful’). The messages and pieces in the first two volumes were the strongest and would have made a far better collection if left here - the inclusion of three more volumes meant it felt protracted and many pieces lost their meaning and impact.
However, if you enjoy journalling and reading the journalled thoughts of others, Silent Muse is a collection in which you will find hope and a voice to which you can relate. For me, personally, it stretched the definition of poetry a little too far and failed to capitalise on less being more.
I am an English teacher and a writer. I published my first poetry collection, Between the Trees, in May 2019. I read widely and avidly and review through Reedsy Discovery, Amazon Vine and individual review requests. All reviews are published on Amazon, Goodreads and my blog - My Screaming Twenties.