Poetry Collection Review: The Hour Wasp by Jay Sheets

Book Review

The Hour Wasp is a poetry collection written by Jay Sheets and illustrated by Robyn Leigh Lear. It was published on May 28, 2017 by April Gloaming Publishing. I selected this collection for review and was provided a complimentary e-book copy from NetGalley for my honest review.

This collection of poems is reminiscent of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and at times places me in the pages of Burroughs’ Naked Lunch. The fantastical and visceral language provides a rich fabric of poetic texture. Although I appreciate the heavy symbolism, I believe poetry should be accessible.

The Hour Wasp is riddled with mystical imagery proving it difficult to navigate its free verse form. I often clashed with its stubborn use of hypnagogic imagery.

The poet’s goal is to provide “hope to the hopeless.” It left me wrestling with the text instead of wrestling with the hopefulness it wished to accomplish. The work provided spiritual release and disconnectedness from what I would have rather faced as the reader.

“… heliolatry darkened an oneiric chaos.”

I think everyone should have a robust working knowledge of poetry, and only recommend this collection based on that fact.

Jay Sheets studies Mythopoetics at Goddard College in Vermont, where he’s also a poetry editor for the literary journal, Duende. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hermeneutic Chaos, Aleola, and The Albion Review. Sheets lives in Salem, Mass. Find him: www.jaysheets.com

I was provided a free e-book copy from NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”