A Candle Flickers Bright by David Galbis-Reig, M.D.
A collection of poetry that varies both in subject and form, A Candle Flickers Bright by David Galbis-Reig, M.D., is a compelling volume that speaks about the many different facets of life. As Galbis-Reig states in his foreword, ‘poetry is a soulful expression of our innermost emotional experiences’ and we can certainly tell from the words he’s written how much poetry means to him. After reading the introduction to the book, and getting a sense for who the poet is and some of the things that have influenced his life, we jump headfirst into the first part, ‘Ember’s Alight’ which focuses on family, inspiration, the woes of men, and the meaning of life. The book offers other sections that include poems about nature, love, death, dreams and fantasies, as well as poems in the form of stories. One of the most intriguing parts of this collection in our opinion is ‘Part 6: Medicine in Poetry’ as it focuses on Galbis-Reig’s work in the medical field. In this part of the book, the powerful poem entitled ‘Despair’ discusses the unique and often frustrating relationship between patient and doctor. As the doctor tries to comfort the patient they grow more and more perturbed, as the words whittle down into single syllable lines, we are forced to question how we would react in times of such distress.
The best kind of poetry collections are the ones that change up the subject matter, as well as how the words are organized and congregated upon the page. Galbis-Reig succeeds in both of these areas as he covers a wide range of topics, and also switches up the formatting of his poetry, playing with lines, spacing, tempo, and even pacing. For someone who works in the medical field, it is refreshing to see someone who deals with science on a daily basis be so attuned to his creative side, being about to write poetry that both entertains and inspires.
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