Wednesday, 29 August 2012

#ESPspotlight Review: 'The Virtuous Concept' by Anthony Lyrics





The Virtuous Concept eBook by Anthony Lyrics is a contemporary, unorthodox take on Gandhi's 'Seven Blunders of Human Virtue'.  Now I must confess; prior to reading the eBook, I was entirely unfamiliar with the works. Being one who loves to learn however, I appreciated the introduction to the concepts...


The synopsis I was provided with had me slightly concerned; on learning that those same concepts were then to be applied in a modern, poetic setting, I was quite iffy on how exactly that was going to work...

"The Virtuous Concept is a collection of poetry by Anthony Lyrics that examines Gandhi's Seven Blunder of Human Virtue - a list of seven acts of passive violence that society needed to prevent in order to avoid reaching a point of violence. Written from the viewpoint of several contrasting characters, the eBook focuses on major perils from our modern world and relates them back to Gandhi's original 'Blunders'"
(Synopsis, Anthony Lyrics)



With a tentative "Okayyy...." in the back of my mind, I pulled up the eBook link and settled down for a read over my dinner. I'm all for putting a twist on things however; so 'Game On Anthony' I thought, proceed with the unexpected...

Opulent Destitute (A story about how easily fortunes can changeis an ambitious opener, handled well by Lyrics' two obviously juxtaposed characters. With interesting caricature graphics by Joonbug of Fresh Kaufee Designs that breathe extra life into the lines, the marriage of the two produce an instant visual that packs a punch without condescension, despite the lesson being literally spelt out for you in acrostic style. So there is no excuse whatsoever for not taking the tale's moral to heart.

In Youthful Callous (A story about falling for the wrong person), Youthful Malcolm is a sad victim of Nasty Yvonne in this woeful tale; when the offspring of their love isn't quite the bundle of joy one wants to reach full term. Think TLC's Waterfalls in an illustrated cinquain equation...

By the start of Blood-Stained (A story about the vicious cycle of Karma); you almost feel as though you have been eased in to the collection so far. Heavily reliant upon the concept of six degrees, this painful piece of free verse does more than pack a punch. It's more of a sensory-numbing wallop, as the severity of the tale hits out at every vicious stage of the aforementioned cycle

After the serious nature of the last piece, it was a refreshing (and smart) move to lift the tone of Spring Facts (A story about Supply and Demand) right back up to a topic for all seasons - of wealth as well as intellectual levels of the characters depicted, for the fourth piece. I'm not ashamed to mention that despite doing very well in my English Language exams, prior to reading this, I thought 'Haiku' was less Japanese poetic style and more Sun Tzu-type, battle checkmate. Ah well. You live and you learn...

Putting Vile Geriatric (A story about misplaced Trust and Care) in limerick form was actually a stroke of genius in the humble opinion of Yours Truly. It not only belied the seriousness of the theme with it's sing-song form; but the degree of underlying scorn actually sums up the reader's feelings on topics that disgruntle us only too often, in everyday news bulletins.

In all honesty Love Martyr (A story about sacrificing for a Greater Cause) is probably my least favourite piece as, although the theme eventually becomes clear after a few re-reads, something about it failed to click with me immediately. Once it did, the story of Faith versus physical love is very fitting of the chosen concept and a good means of bringing it into modern day light, but it did take a little while to get there. I had to look up the form definition as etheree is not one I remember from my acadaemia. I'm putting it down to the multiple descriptions of 'popular Internet verse form'. Now I'm not ageing myself here - but they didn't have the Internet in schools in my day...

Back to an almost sing-song form for the big finish, where Eton Views (A story about Social Division in the Class System) makes excellent use of villanelle style. The application is welcome, leaving room for the earlier scorn to return for an entertaining twist on challenging the social divide.

Overall, Anthony Lyrics succeeded in bringing seven very serious topics into a modern day light by blending humour, illustration and topical balance in a palatable, enjoyable way. The addition of mixing seven different poetic styles was the equivalent of sticking a glazed cherry on the top of the entire collection. Well worth a few reads and even more shares, The Virtuous Concept is most definitely 'ES approved'!


The Virtuous Concept
(download)



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Comments welcome as always! Catch you next time...
ES ;o)