Swan Songs of Cygnus: Hours In Forever
Swan Songs of Cygnus: Hours in Forever is Vincent Hollow’s sequel to Swan Songs of Cygnus: The Weight of Black Holes. The “Aquarius Astronaut” continues his journey looking for Lucy, his lost love. This book starts out with a flashback, from when the “blue sky boy” first meets Lucy. It continues through life with Lucy and into her sickness and finally her passing. The sorrow continues, as the heartbroken explorer continues in his voyage.
The poet shares reflections while traveling aimlessly into the abyss, but every musing seems to bring him closer to closure if it is within reach. But is it ever? The pain of lost love and shattered dreams notwithstanding, Hollow lends voice to the agony of aloneness.
Excerpt from “Enemy Imagined”
an enemy imagined
dragging her away
from where we were
to some new place
it did not think I would reach”
Poetry is a cathartic avenue for synthesizing creative expression. Drawing on similar themes from the first volume, Hollow has written poetry that readers can feel in their bones. The death of a beloved, young, and beautiful lover has been the topic of poems for millennia. This book is yet another representation of this theme, albeit modernized to involve space flight and the knowledge of black holes. Even as Hollow writes about a tormented soul in the depths of despair, the poet also shares his passion for science and astronomy.
Even though this book can be read as a stand-alone, it is best when paired with the first volume. I read the e-book version of the poetry collection, which is appropriate given the focus of technology in the design and aesthetics of the template used for each page layout. The cover art depicting Lucy is done by illustrator Tom Nicosia and the digital art wasby Matt-Kelly Thibedeau. The page layout and design were done by the poet himself. Each poem is rendered in a caricature of spacecraft controls. As you read, you are enclosed in the spacecraft as you push through the black hole.
Vincent Hollow is a self-described “astropoet and interstellar storyteller”. This award-winning author has written three other collections of poetry. The themes of his poems deal with mental health, love and loss, and the beauty of the cosmos.
This book is a trip into the depths of sorrow and grief. Anyone who has experienced unimaginable loss may find solace in these pages. Ironically, poetry has always served this purpose: being immersed in someone else’s musing about loneliness and longing may help to make some feel less alone.
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