Monday, July 4, 2011

Stabbed in Stanzas Book Review: Shroud of Night by G. O. Clark

Reviewed by Karen L. Newman

If you’re a reader of Asimov’s Science Fiction then you’re familiar with the poetry of G.O. Clark who won the magazine’s reader award for poetry in 2001. With his latest poetry collection, Shroud of Night, Clark also makes a name for himself in horror poetry, although he harkens to his science fiction roots at times, as in the poem, “Fear”: The stars / are light-daggers / to those who’ve / lost focus. The rhyme in the two lines and the use of consonance makes this poem outstanding.
A haiku starts and ends the book, two bursts of horror, one to whet the appetite and the other to end the collection in, of course, a cemetery. The best poems, in my opinion, are located in the middle, unusual since most books begin strong. Most of his early poems poke fun at Hollywood horror movies – good if the reader is familiar with them. Clark also combines death and writing in a memorable way in the poem “Rubbing” in addition to alluding to other authors in another work. A standout poem is “The Hollow Man”, the theme of which is unexpected. “Curses and Salutations” reminds me of the song “May the Bird of Paradise Fly up Your Nose”. The book ends with zombie poems, which are clever and humorous. Clark advises the reader on “Some Zombies One Should Avoid” and turns Halloween upside down with “Little Zombies”.
Shroud of Night is a fun read that’s also thought-provoking. Mankind’s foibles are shown, not in fear, but in humor, which makes them all the more memorable.

--Karen L. Newman

(Visit Speculative Poet/Writer G. O. Clark's Official Website The work reviwed above can be purchased at Dark Regions Online Store here)