Book Review. The Absence of the Loved.  Wade Stevenson. 

For a small volume, The Absence of the Loved packs in many poems.

At first, reading Absence of the Loved I felt the poems had too many metaphors. They were tripping themselves up.

The second poem I read, titled Self-Portrait, had such enthusiasm that it made it difficult to put this book down.

As the title of the book suggests, without a loved one their absence can suddenly be a stark reminder of the realities of life.

These poems are taking us through a relationship:  the end, the quarrels, the beauty of a woman, regrets and loss. They speak of the absent person as if trying to reach them but are unable to.

The poems blaze on and off, with exclamation marks punctuated through the pages. It did make me wonder if the author has attended an open mic night. The poems are very suited for this purpose. Poem Mistress of the Mattress is a gem, with a metaphor that works at the close of the poem.

In poem Must I? Must you?

I felt for the narrator in lines in battle against each other or me

Latched too much in you because I

Rebel poet! sought to quench

Myself in your velvet V

And If I wired some funds to Western Union?

You slipped away as easily as money

A glorious and plaintive poem.

I do think there is too much in this book. Some of the better poems can be let down by the lesser poems.

The poems also become racier and it feels as if the narrator has begun to let up on his grief and reflect more on his mistakes.

I do like this book. By the final pages I was remembering my own experiences of love and found the whole of Absence of the Loved nostalgic.

I think anybody going through heartbreak will find solace in this book.

Grab a copy at or direct from BlazeVOX publishers  


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