Sunshine in Seasons of Showers


Not for me 😔

This debut poetry collection by JF Bartley has a few hidden gems within but suffers from a lack of organization and a reliance on cliches.

Going into this poetry collection, I was very hopeful for some hard-hitting, inspirational, and emotional poems that took me across the continents and made me think about the nature of humanity and myself.

Unfortunately, while I found some of the poems exceeding at just that, the collection overall fell short to me both in cohesion and execution. There were gems that I read once, twice, and noted because I wanted to be able to read them again, but the majority of the poems were, for me, generic and uninspired. Cliches and ideas that have been expressed elsewhere but better took up more lines on the pages than the fresh, interesting, and tight lines of prose that I occasionally came across. Coupled with the frequency of grammar issues that, after parsing the collection in full and coming to the conclusion they were not artistically intentional, took me out of the poems and made for more distractions than anything else.

That said, I did enjoy a few things about this collection.

The stand out in this collection, for me, was the first poem, Hello, Pablo. I felt a connection to it that made me want to dive into this collection, and a similar feeling was echoed in entries like Forget me nots, Musique, and Passing Lights. These poems were the highlight for me; they came from the heart and didn't read like they were written for the sake of platitudes. Particularly with Hello, Pablo, these lines:

In those glimpses I'm home, but you're not there
At least, I think you're not
But maybe you're here now, seeping out of my ink

This poem gave me heart, it gave me emotion, it gave me pause for reflection. It made me think about my own personal Pablo, and I believe that JF Bartley, despite this particular collection not hitting its mark, certainly has more Hello, Pablo poems in their pen. So, while this collection wasn't for me, Bartley certainly has the ability to turn out a perfected collection in the future.

Reviewed by

I'm a 25-year-old reader and writer getting back into the swing of book blogging. I live in SE Texas with my partner and our two cats, and I read and blog between working as a freelance ghostwriter and writing on my current fantasy WIP. I love long books and stories that hit me in the heart.

Hello Pablo

About the author

Jack Francis Bartley is a new author, having published Sunshine in Seasons of Showers at the end of 2019. Having lived in various continents and countries, his poems encapsulate the struggle of settling, and the challenges of daily life from around the world. view profile

Published on October 28, 2019

Published by

10000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Poetry

Reviewed by