Eva's Reviews > A Collection of Dreamscapes

A Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina Sng
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it was amazing

Sng's poems, which I have been dazzled by and amazed for years, have a dream-like quality here, which is not surprising given the title of the work of this collection. She conjures images of myths, of heartbreak, evoking the same tragedy of Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee."

Her poems are carved from the most beautiful gems, each one a special gift bearing different surprises for the reader. The emotions that her poems evoke hit the reader deeply, and resonate with strong chords of sorrow. Like her contemporaries, Sng's poetry reaches up like dark tendrils of a mandrake and pleads, with sad insistence, that the reader allow themselves to be overtaken by the emotions they present.

Those who enjoy mythological figures of strong women will enjoy this collection, every bit as fierce as 'Beowulf' but suffused with tender care to intensify the electric images.

Women and the energy of what it is to be female and have power, to have beauty, to be feared and reviled for it but in some rare cases, adored and appreciated for it, posed here not as a threat but rather something to celebrate, make this a must-read not just for Women in Horror month, but also year-round.

Anyone with an appreciation for fine, dark poetry on sorrowful themes needs this book in their life. Herein there are images of battlefields, both metaphorical and literal, of demons, of the power and indomitable spirit of women who do not allow themselves to be conquered.

I also found the linearity of the collection had a fascinating resonance for me, wherein the poems were connected by storylines. I haven't seen that in poetry, and I enjoyed it here.

Sng elevates her poetry to new levels here--she is a modern day bard.

The Romantic Poets, in particular Percy Shelley and Lord Byron, also infuse the pages of Sng's collection with their energy, and not simply because of the similarities in themes. There is a powerful interplay of homage mixed with extension and going even further than the originals had hoped.

It's not adequate enough and too simplistic to say that Sng writes beautifully or that her poems feature a lushness to them. The focus here on aspects of fairy tales that get ignored, like in Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, and others, here put a spotlight on those experiences, and re-center the women in a way that feels ingrained and transformative.

One of the central themes of the collection is women refusing to don the mantles assigned to them from fairy tales, and all of the messages that Conservativism and other modern-day controlling forces impose, particularly on women. It takes these things and tears out their guts. It challenges simplistic falseties like 'happily ever after' and makes these fairy tale princesses, usually stuck in Disneyfied boxes, to become who they really are.

There is trauma, as the collection moves forward, of what happens to female bodies, of the silent things we suffer, of the fear that it will happen again, that no one will believe us, and that hovering toxicness that threatens every interaction, every tiny inkling of what may be, of what we may be accused of later lest we are not careful.

To try to condense this magnificent collection in a pithy, quotable "one line" summary would not do it justice. There's an elegance here, even as the darkest depths of actions and emotions are being explored, and an aesthetic that blends together so many amazing forces. It is a collection that needs to be read and celebrated as widely as possible, studied in schools for how profound its impact is. "A Collection of Dreamscapes" feels like a grimoire that every wronged woman must possess, that contains the tools of how to take what has disempowered us for so long and fight to change that.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 16, 2020 – Shelved

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