by Karol-Ann Roberts

Xlibris, $19.99, 108 pages

When it comes to poetry, format is everything. The Chronicles is an anthology of short poems that add up to a larger poem about the relationships of a small group. The continuing theme is one of mixed fear and love, where each entity loves at least one person within the group and has allowed that love to at least partially define their being but at the same time is afraid of what will happen once the relationship ends as well as what may cause it. As each entity melds into the others, quickly becoming indistinguishable from the others, the romance quickly becomes a spiral of emotions punctuated by remorse and anger before reaching a point of forgiveness at the end.

The book’s biggest problem is that it needed an editor to go through with a fine-toothed comb. There are too many pauses caused by apparently missing words, grammar problems, and misspelled words. Although it can be argued that they are intentional, creating pauses to think about what has been said; they quickly become a stumbling block to reading it. The various poems of the various entities also tend to run together, with only one or two having a distinctive voice. Although it comes off as a pair of people looking at their relationship through their own spectrum of voices, it would probably have done better to highlight the voices through color or some other formatting.

The basic concept, however, is sound. The rotating between the various personalities works, and it makes for an interesting exploration of love and what it means to different people. This is a good first book, and with some editing the next book of poetry could be even better.

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