Book Review: Helium By Rudy Francisco

Helium is a short poetry collection written by Rudy Francisco. It explores various facets of life such as love, mental health, race, acceptance and people. Although I came across the book on the Button Poetry website through their mailing list, my attitude towards the collection was very blasé. I didn’t give it a chance until today when I went into my local bookstore and decide to purchase and read the book. Based on this, I can say that I enjoyed reading the collection and I am very glad I gave the book a chance.

What did you think of the Title? 

Personally, I do not believe the title represented the book.  Although it may be a metaphorical representation as we know that helium is an element. Perhaps, this collection represents the various elements and aspects of the poet’s life which are weaved into the poems.

What are your first impressions?

I was really impressed with the poets ability to describe simple things so vividly. The style of writing in which Francisco uses is very clear, descriptive and imaginable. I was open to the others poems and must admit I found myself smiling and revelling each one.

What do you think the writer’s technique are? 

I believe the writing style of Francisco is one that is relatable. The reader can grasp the clear message of the themes that the writer discusses. The ability to make poetry comprehensible is definitely a great skill to showcase and have as a writer.

What are your top three favourite quotes from the book?

  • ….remind yourself that you are human (From the Poem Instructions).
  • I have a solar-powered confidence and a battery operated smile. (From the Poem My Honest Poem)
  • I am learning that a person who only knows how to fight can only communicate in violence and that shouldn’t  be anyone’s first language        ( From the Poem Rifle II)

What are your top three favourite poems from the collection and why?

1. Accent- This poem explores accents by comparing it to cooking. 
I enjoyed the poem because it is a different and interesting way to look at accents.

2. 'My Honest Poem' is almost like an autobiographical piece exploring the writer's life. 
I enjoyed this poem because it was personal and made me feel at ease reading the poem.

3. Rifle II is an informative piece which talks about how an artist is musical making instruments from guns. 
 It was something that I have never heard before yet this piece made me aware of this in a poetic way. 
I was educated on something that I didn't know about.

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