Mirage by Shutao Liao

Mirage by Shutao Liao
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Poetry
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The poet found himself retreating to his own lodge as an observer after long tedious travel, writing down everything across his mind, to reveal a splendor of romantic emotions as well as a profound sense of beauty throughout the words between the lines.

An intimate journey to the kingdom of self salvation.

Change isn’t always easy, but it’s an unavoidable part of being alive.

I enjoyed the repetition of certain themes throughout this collection. For example, the speakers spent a lot of time talking about the circle of life and death and how what might seem to be a catastrophe in one moment can be interpreted very differently if a long term view of the problem is taken instead. Natural disasters were one example of this, and they made me think of how fire can look quite destructive for a prairie or a forest in one particular year but also be critical to the survival of that ecosystem decades or centuries from now. Finding patterns like these made it difficult for me to stop reading. I kept wanting to pick out more examples of what the author was talking about and connect everything together.

There were times when I struggled to understand what the author was trying to say. Poetry can be written in ways that can lead to multiple valid interpretations of the same text, of course, but I did find myself wishing that some of these passages were a little easier to comprehend. The writing style was so detailed that it saddened me to walk away from certain stanzas without fully figuring out what they were trying to share with the audience. If not for my confusion in those moments, I would have happily gone with a higher rating.

The references to the events of 2020 were an interesting surprise. I liked the way Mr. Liao discussed how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s lives to this day, from the tragedy of the countless deaths from this disease to the social isolation that all of us survivors have dealt with while trying to slow the spread of the virus. The poem after this one described the author washing his dusty soul for reasons I’ll leave other readers to discover for themselves, and I thought it was a pleasant way to wrap up a reference to something that is still such a major portion of everyone’s lives.

Mirage made me yearn for spring and the beginning of the next cycle of the seasons.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.