Chorus on a Bridge
by Felix Bongjoh

"The world is lonely with grins rubber-stamped on mouths
Held out to shine in the skies like planted stars . . ."

This book of symbolic and metaphorical poetry is a study of life with all its complexities and problems, its dangers and uncertainties, its highs and lows, and its ultimate, unavoidable end. Containing a preface and prologue, both also written in poetic form, the book is divided into one major section followed by five themed sub-sections. Using the image of a bridge as the connection between past and present, present and future, and life and death, Bongjoh creates an accessible metaphor. His writing is honest and unapologetic. Even when dealing with heavy themes such as death, the poet doesn’t fall into sentimentalism. For example, he writes of seeing his mother on her deathbed, “I wish she remained the soldier she’s always been / And regained her breath from the fire that is burning her life out...”

Bongjoh’s themes are reminiscent of those found in the works of T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Walt Whitman, all poets who, like him, worked in the field of business. In this collection of poetry with its recurring images of the bridge and the shadow self—the Jungian archetype representing the id or the subconscious and one’s darker, suppressed desires—the poet builds and maintains tension throughout the work. This tension between one’s self and one’s subconscious holds the work together as does the use of metaphor and simile. These recurring images are perfectly chosen for these poems about life as well as how people handle the passage of time and the challenges all humans face as they traverse the bridges of their lives. This is a beautiful compilation that one will want to read again and again.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home