I am being brutally honest when I say that this collection of poems is confusing. Though there are a few particularly poignant poems which deserve separate attention, I feel like some poems in Time Passes Differently Here are more relevant to the overall theme of the tumultuous 2020 than others.
What I liked is that Zems has constructed quite a challenging read, forcing readers to really focus on the true message behind the lines which is a crucial skill for any talented poet. Each message underlying each individual poem varies and spans from very important themes such as shining a light on the violence sprung from recent racial controversies and tragedies to the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic affecting everyone. There are also certain poems I liked because of how they reflect current times in a very self-aware manner. A World in Disarray and Couch Potatoes In Lockdown I feel are particularly relatable for many and quite honest about the global situation, rather than masking it up with niceties or unnecessary optimism.
I might recommend this to anybody who is looking for some inspiration to get creative with their writing during lockdown. Unfortunately, this book is not for me because, hard as I tried, there were too many individual poems that did not illustrate their point or meaning as clear or coherently as they could have done. Rather than wholly enjoying the author's unique style, I was distracted by the excessive use of ellipses and occasional interruptions in prose. Perhaps these interruptions are intentional and supposed to mimic how our lives have been so rudely interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. However, I liked the poem dedicated to keyworkers, aptly titled The Chosen. In this poem, the author does not shy away from the reality that in many jobs, especially those in hospitals, these keyworkers were 'the first to fall' whilst treating infected patients.
In my final year of study as a Classical Studies undergraduate, I am a publishing hopeful with books on my mind. I spend most of my time studying the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, which I talk about on my Classics blog Itzanif. My second blog, FictionFrappucino is for my love of fiction.