Starry Night, Blurry Dreams


Publication Date: 31 Aug. 2021
Format: Hardback

ISBN 9781526635600

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    who are you
    when you're alone

    Starry Night, Blurry Dreams is a collection of graphic poetry about loneliness, love and existing in our world.

    a heavy heart is hard to carry
    hold on

    When words aren't enough to describe our emotions, this book will offer comfort, joy and a friend in the dark.

    we all have our own
    beautiful universe

    Information

    Book Type: Senior High
    Age Group: 16 years +
    Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
    Class Novel: No
    Good Reads Rating: 5/5
    Literary Rating: 5/5

    Review

    A combination of short, poetic text with evocative black-and-white illustrations, this book examines the nature of vulnerability and trust in the modern age.

    The illustrations often evoke visual puns or metaphors. For example, in one illustration a girl sits in a glass bottle full of messages, alone on a desert island. The accompanying text reads "There are so many things / I want to say" (p. 81). The imagery and poetry work together to convey an idea of wanting to reach out for help, to be vulnerable and honest with others, but holding back in the hope that someone will come to save you from your isolation--in other words, a message in a bottle that goes unread because it is never sent.

    Other pieces are more lighthearted: one illustration shows a hand holding chopsticks, eating out of a bowlful of old tapes as if they were noodles. The caption, "soul food" (p. 272), links music--nourishment for the soul--to noodles--nourishment for the body.

    This book would be an excellent reference for any students working on poetry or art, showing the value of simple ideas executed with thought and care. In the case of students creating a body of work, this book would be a great model to show how many different ideas can become a cohesive whole through careful placement and use of consistent visual language. This would also be great pleasure reading for anyone interested in poetry or visual art--especially if they are hoping to create their own work for platforms like Instagram, where short-form poetry thrives.

    Themes

    art, poetry, relationships, vulnerability, creativity, modern life

    Content Notes

    1. The illustrations are black and white line drawings. Throughout the book, as a shorthand for vulnerability and trust, faceless characters are often depicted in swimsuits or underwear, although this is always treated tastefully and nothing explicit is exposed. 2. Couples embracing while undressed; the captions imply young love, love at first sight, and intimacy; nothing is graphically depicted (p. 118, 183, 185). Figures appear to be topless though they are not exposed (p. 95, 171, 248, 259, 280). Bath (p. 92, 121). 3. The figures at times hold bottles or glasses which could be alcoholic (p. 31, 37). Cigarette (p. 221, 241). 3. A woman with her hair braided into a noose with the caption "too young to die" (p. 102). Knives (p. 158).

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