30 Says, 30 Reviews: Day 9 – House of Decadence by Marina Anderson

House of Decadence Marina AndersonHouse of Decadence By Marina Anderson

Rating:★★☆☆☆

Synopsis

At twenty-three, Megan Stewart feels that there should be more to life than working in a library, so she answers an advert for a post in a country house – and discover what she has been missing. Handsome Fabrizio Balocchi is far from this Tuscan home and feeling bored. But he instinctively knows that Megan will be a natural player in his games of domination and step by step, he leads her into a darker world, a world where pleasure is mixed with pain. Now Megan must decide how far she is willing to go in order to stay in Fabrizio’s house of decadence.

Review

This book was not what I expected at all. I knew it would be erotic and I expected mild cases of BDSM like in some of the other adult books I’ve read. However, what I didn’t expect was a totally disrespectful patriarchal sex fest where characters are used and replaced at the make protagonists will. This isn’t a book about being released sexually through new experience, it’s about how it can be used to own another person which I didn’t find appealing at all. This book is one of my least enjoyed in the year. When I read Haven of Obedience by Marina Anderson, I wasn’t too keen on her style or her form but at least it had some educated notion of itself and the characters understood their situation. I don’t feel like this book provided that and I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Review: The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

The Worlds Wife Carol Ann Duffy

It’s not often that I find a full collection of poetry by a poet to intrigue me. I normally find two or three that catch my eye, but I find I prefer to read a breadth of poets. However, every so often I come across a collection that is so well collated and has a brilliant meaning that I can’t help but get excited by reading it.

Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife does just that. The collection takes figures from factual, fictional, mythical and fairy tale history, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Dr. Faustus and Freud, and creates a feminist viewpoint. The poems are written from the view of these figures (if they are already female), their wife’s or have been portrayed as female themselves (The Kray Sisters). The poems can be sinister like Mrs Faust or romantic like Anne Hathaway and are chosen for the topic of discussion of many academic curriculum because of their feminist approach.

My favourite of the collection has to be Anne Hathaway. Shakespeare’s romances have wooed us all for just under 400 years. Whether they end tragically or romantically, we remember them because of his lyrical writing skill and I think Duffy attempts to imitate this with her extended metaphor for Shakespeare’s work and their sex life. He bequeathed his wife their second best bed and the poem stems from this one line of his will; this is one of the reasons I love this poem so much.

Anyone that knows me personally is aware that my favourite Disney film is The Beauty and the Beast. So naturally, I was very intrigued by Duffy’s take on the tale, in the form of Mrs Beast. This poem was quite a refreshing surpise for me with cameos from The Little Mermaid and Goldilocks etc. It takes the Prince and Princess ‘lifestyle’ and bears all its hidden animosity. Claiming that sex with the Beast is better, Duffy uses fairytales to bring to light the truth about love and how you should see all the sides to a person before you get into a complex relationship with them.

These are just a couple of the poems that I found stuck out for me in the collection, but there are plenty more brilliant pieces, such as Little Red Cap and Mrs Midas, that I also really enjoyed and suggest you check out.

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Let the Bell Toll

The first poem I’ve written in over four months. I didn’t actually mean for the poem to come out as a concrete/visual poem but I guess luck just was in my side of the court. Anyway, I hope you like it and I will be posting a video soon as a Spoken version so keep an eye out!

Let the Bell Toll

Time.
It’s such an odd thing time.
Ever constant, yet ever changing.
And it makes me wonder, if at the chime
Of every hour, we were to think about time.
The origin of the tick tock, the too and fro.
The rhythm that you unconsciously step to and fro
As you walk down the pavement to your destination.
Be it work, school, or the swimming class where the teacher
Tries to get you to do lengths to a clock that spins with such a
Distinct speed that you find yourself watching it complete
A track of its own. Start to finish. Twelve to twelve. 360 degrees.
No matter how you say it, it still accomplishes the same thing.
And that’s the beauty about time you see. You find with ease
That the clock with tell you the truth about your place in all that is.
The clock that sits above your fire place or your chest of drawers.
The grandfather clock that proudly rings with delight at the coming
Of each new hour and with it new opportunities. Striking awe
Into the grandchildren who run down the corridor,
not yet grasping the magnitude
Of his helping hands.

Ciao for now! x

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Spoken Word: How different is it?

I’ve often debated about the concept of spoken word poetry. I’ve watched a few performances over the past year and become more open to the idea. I had never read any of my poetry aloud or even contemplated it. But the other day I finally decided to change that. I recorded my first attempt at spoken word poetry. Granted the video was of a poem I wrote over a year ago, but I felt the poem had a sense of intimacy from the speaker that didn’t translate as well when read. This is the video:


For my first attempt, I’m pretty happy with it. Though I doubt I’ll be going to any open mic nights any time soon. I really enjoyed getting to add my personal touch to the voice of the poem. As a person who studies English and has a particular interest in speech and voice I really enjoyed considering each line and how to enunciate them.

I’m definitely considering doing more spoken word, but mostly to get feedback on what people think of my … I guess you would call it a performance. So if you would like to give me any feedback I would greatly appreciate it.

Some of the major differences I found between writing poetry and attempting to read it aloud were as follows:

1 – Syllables:
I always knew syllables where important to poetry. Finding you’ve managed to remember the difference between iambs, trochees, dactyls and anapaests, can feel like quite the achievement when writing. Sonnets make this feat particularly evident. I especially found this noteworthy when reading aloud because I had set the poem to a structure of 3 stanzas, 22 lines a stanza and 10 syllables in the first stanza decreasing by one syllable each stanza. I thought this came through very well when spoken because the lines became shorter and more intense as the poem continued. This reflected in my speech as I spoke the stanzas progressively faster.

2 – Syntax:
Some of the lines of the poem seemingly flowed well when written such as “That are embedded
forever, n’er to be shredded;
of a lust so blind that it burns
backstabbing like a branch from firs.”
This section of the first stanza I thought read quite well. However, in reality when I spoke this section it seemed quite irregular. A lot of the time poetry does deviate from regular syntax because it creates an interesting and emotive perspective but I felt this section didn’t really work the way I had hoped it would.

3 – Change of Voice:
In the second stanza we hear a couple of lines for the object of the poem. The male past lover. This is a bit more difficult to pick out when you’re speaking because there’s only really two ways you could go about it; change your appearance or voice. I did neither of these because it was only after I uploaded the video that I really noticed this part.

So I’ve decided I’m definitely going to make more of these videos and I’m looking forward to developing my spoken word style as well as start writing some more poetry because its been quite a while now since I wrote a poem. I went from writing one every day to writing none at all. I think I’ve taken a long enough break now to try and get myself back into a creative mindset. That is, before university comes and stomps all over it again.

Take care people!

Kyra xx

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