Book Review: Death of a Scratching Post by Jackson Dean Chase
Goodreads Description: This short poetry chapbook is a celebration of cats as much as it is a look into loneliness, into the heart of a poet, and perhaps into yourself. If you've read my previous cat-themed collection, LOVE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LITTER BOX, then you know what to expect: Cats are the stars of some poems, bit players in others, but they are always there, purring in your ear, telling us life isn't so bad if we'd only just open our eyes and see...
My Review: I love poetry, but I don’t consider myself anything of an expert on it. Poetry to me, especially when I write it, is something personal and private, and utterly raw. With so few words, you tend to have to go straight for the point, which I think a lot of people don’t necessarily understand. Jackson Dean Chase is excellent at getting straight to the point and though this book of poetry has a lighthearted topic—all poems featuring cats—it still packs an incredibly powerful punch. I found myself rereading a couple poems, as if to confirm to myself that what I felt wasn’t some coincidence or passing fancy. I found as I reread this simple poetry book a couple times (an easy feat, as it not incredibly long), I found myself struck with the same wonder and awe each time, inspired by simple words and emotions.
At times, Jackson Dean Chase can dip into some dark topics, as I think is pretty common for poets. But the angle of cats, as well as brief spots of optimism and hope, keep this little collection of poetry nicely balanced. It is the first poetry book I have read from cover to cover, mostly because it’s an easy read, but also since I found myself delighted by each poem as I read. Ideally this book would make a great gift for a lover of cats and reading, who wouldn’t be off-put by some of the darker tones. I loved it for those darker looks at reality, but I could easily see it upsetting some of my elderly coworkers, who can sometimes fit the “little old lady” theme a bit too well.
What really caught me about this collection was the raw emotion and the no-holds-barred way of looking at life. It’s the best kind of poetry there is—with a subtle and rhythmic flow to the writing and strong emotional messages, delivered both bluntly and through delightful cat metaphors.
TL;DR: All in all 4/5 stars. A great look into Jackson Dean Chase’s style with the cuddliest of subject matter.