A Bouquet of Rainbows by John Deville

A Bouquet of Rainbows by John Deville is a collection of approximately fifty poems that aim to discover the meanings of such timeless topics like peace, love, longing, and despair. By offering a wide range of different poetic pieces, Deville explores what it means to be human throughout his work. While some of the poems are overarching in structure and theme, some have a more specified focus, as the poem ‘Remembering Princess Diana’ displays by characterizing one very famous woman. This is juxtaposed with the poem ‘My Valentine’ in which the poet describes a woman who is beautiful in similar ways to the princess, but is not readily identified, besides in the ways the poet describes her appearance as he knows it. There are reflections on mothers and fathers, as well as upon the poet himself, as he even writes a poem about his own poetry. This self-reflection amongst pieces of observation help to balance the collection as it continues on.

If there is one overarching theme included in A Bouquet of Rainbows, it could be argued that the subject most present is love, as the poet describes it in multiple poems in a variety of ways. With the positive title of this collection, love is often viewed upon in a positive way, but that is not to say there is no darkness amongst the written words that Deville has compiled. The albatross is a recurring creature in this collection, which is used as if it is looming high over head. The search for love is also a story that is mentioned in poetic form, so even though the title displays great happiness, Deville’s poems are not all full of cheer. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable collection that the reader will be able to ponder over with bright lights shining up ahead.