Author Sheldon Sinnamon’s ‘Hush Your Gums’ is a candid collection of poetry that boldly speaks of bitter sweet realities from a psychological, social, and spiritual standpoint, often intermingling elements of Horatian satire, situational irony, extended metaphors, and personification (good poem example, ‘a wolf in love’s clothing pg. 88), using an inimitable and unorthodox word diction that helps develop and emphasize the book’s satirized theme.
“Your words are toxic bullets piercing my soul. I stand arms open, a painted target, waiting for you to reload.”
The king of clown’s inverted aura makes its dramatic appearance, instantly ushering readers into a world of pain, or perhaps, pleasure?
Sinnamon’s ‘Hush Your Gums’ portrays just how profoundly the author has transformed since the last book we read from him entitled, “Trapped in Words”. Immediately, he writes
“I must put a leash
Upon this beast inside of me.
It’s no longer
The once adorable helpless
But a fully-grown lion.”
This, alone, gives us our first sign!
Sinnamon’s unconventional poetry goes against the odds and is distinguished from other typical types of verse. Many of his poems provide an abstract perspective on a variety of social, personal, and political topics, such as civil protests, social media, and freedom of speech.
In the poem ‘Blasphemy’, he says
“you might as well say nothing because it will hurt someone somewhere, that doesn’t generally care.”
This poem stands out because of its ‘millennial’ theme, as we live in an age in which social media and its popularity is at its peak.
This, of course, brings some good and bad to the table. And Author Sinnamon elaborates on human communication and interaction, in relation to the vast world and culture of the internet and social media, essentially explaining the paradoxical, negative effect some users induce, when openly trying to deter others from expressing their own personal points of views and beliefs. The poem brazenly confronts those whom take offense to another person’s words, and the author’s feelings of resentment towards his targeted audience ends the poem with a cynical, verbal grin. As readers, (and consumers of the web!) we can grasp the author’s frustration and are prompted to consider the pros and cons of both, ‘freedom of speech’ and social media.
In addition to writing poems that discuss the state of people and happenings in our world, the author also shares some startling revelations and predictions about his own ambiguous future, causing us to ponder more deeply about who he is, and his past. He admits he’ll never meet the expectations to enter the kingdom of heaven, saying “I’ll whimsically watch people sneak in wearing sheep masks and not be envious”, seemingly content with his place on the hierarchy of worldliness. This poem and some others tend to depict an ominous and uncanny atmosphere, where demons shaped like satyrs attempt to invade his nights, transforming him into a ‘mindless sleepwalking puppet’, as stated in ‘Idolizing Demons’.
From a technical view, the dominant form of poetry used throughout this pensive collection is a liberating style of free-verse, allowing readers to interpret the author’s poetry without easily misinterpreting the poems messages or meanings. At times, the blunt fierceness from what seems to be pain, disappointment, resentment, and dejection is intensely visible, as highlighted in the poem ‘Airborne’, where he says
“I’ve become difficult to love. Like a cushion losing its comfort.”
Though the author expresses his sentiments and thoughts at liberty, the quiet and domineering void of solitude and uncertainty makes quite the impression with poems like ‘Houston, we have a problem’, ‘Expiration Date’, ‘A wolf in love’s clothing’, and ‘Forever Young’. On the contrary, poems like ‘Birdy’, ‘Camp’, ‘The Chase’, and ‘Ingot’ express and highlight some of the author’s most memorable experiences, social interactions, and mantras of infatuation and love regarding romance and relationships.
To conclude out thoughts, Author Sheldon Sinnamon’s eccentric and crafty way of conveying his viewpoints about himself and the world add a peculiar twist to traditional poetry, and exemplify the internal characteristics of his own individuality. So, hush your gums – or write poetry. Original work, Sheldon!
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