The Vital Function of Constant Narrative, by Marlys West is marketed as both memoir and poetry. I love poetry and I love memoirs, and a crossover of the two genres is something I haven’t seen before.
Unfortunately, I don’t feel like this was executed particularly well. I was bored a quarter of the way through. I know it’s a bit harsh to say that the story of someone’s life is boring, but it didn’t feel like a memoir.
And it barely felt like poetry. This is coming from a person who reads and enjoys a lot of bad poetry. Here’s the thing. Poetry is emotion. I don’t care about the technical aspects of poetry if it doesn’t make me feel things.
This collection isn’t bad, but it is largely forgettable. It’s the type of book an academic library adds to the collection because the author is faculty.
I usually try to share some passages that touched me, but nothing really stood out. Every page is like the title of this book, unnecessarily verbose without leading to a point. It’s the kind of poetry that makes me feel like I’m missing something. Or like maybe I’m not smart enough to get it. That puts me off reading more of this author’s work.
⭐️⭐️ for me. I’m sure there’s an audience for this, but it’s not me. Big thanks to NetGalley & V Press LC, Independent Book Publishers for the ARC.
I didn’t love it, but you might! You can buy The Vital Function of Constant Narrative on Amazon, BN, or Indie Bookstore.