Blake Edwards’ Strange Diary Days: What We Leave Behind is a contemplative, creative collection that
Strange Diary Days by Author Blake Edwards
Reviewed by Realistic Poetry International
Blake Edwards’ Strange Diary Days: What We Leave Behind is a contemplative,
creative collection that utilizes the phantoms left by classic poets – Poe, Keats, as well as
others – as its muses. Much like the first book of Edwards’ poetry series, the prose is
often story-like, hinting to a depth that it allows one’s imagination to explore on their
own. There’s an eloquence that reaches far beyond words, and not once feels
What We Leave Behind hides in its pages an ancient history of poetry. While there’s
often a distinct fantasy edge to much of this collection, there can be an equal and
relevant realism, too. A good example is the piece “Soldier”, which could be interpreted
as the confusion of morality that comes with war – what is good and what is bad
anymore in the midst of chaos?
“Hero or villain, a matter of perspective,
an issue of political whimsy that shifts with the trade winds.”
On a technical standard, Edwards’ collection reads smoothly and piques the reader’s
curiosity like a child’s with a fairytale. There is clear effort put into its phrasing, whether
the piece in question is fun and light or melancholy and poignant. If the first Strange
Diary Days had to it a “twilight” quality, where the writing took on a preternatural,
sometimes eerie vibe, this second entry is the “dawn” to that feeling.
What We Leave Behind is a saga of wakeness, of seeking truth in illusion and deception
lurking in the truth. Reality in here can be harsh and brittle, as in the poem “House”, or
wistful and soft as the sun, such as in “Christmas”. My personal favourite was “Loss”, a
blend of both ends of this spectrum.
“There are all sorts of ways of becoming lost,
lost to lovers, to family, to friends, all of
life’s victories seem to come with a cost.”
Certain poems bear a dedication to an influential figure who inspired it. Most of the
time, they’re writers, but artists, activists and others are also cited in playing a role in
the piece’s creation. I liked the homage to Poe’s opus, “The Raven”, quite a lot and I feel
as a whole, this collection is worthy of its influences.
I highly recommend Strange Diary Days: What We Leave Behind, as well as the other
book in Edwards’ series, for anyone who wants a brief return to the height of romantic,
classical poetry, but also appreciates the sensibilities of the modern fashion of writing as
well. This up-and-coming poet has a lot of interesting stories to tell, and I feel great
work can be expected from Edwards in the future.
A five of five stars.