The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly - Book Review


The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly

Author: Arthur Conway
Genre: Poetry/Music
Date Published: January 11, 2006
ISBN-10: 1420878840
ISBN-13: 9781420878844


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Book Review of :  The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly


“The Poetic Vibrations of A Matured Butterfly,” is an incredible first collection of work by Arthur Lee Conway that accentuates the stitches of reality through well-crafted lyrical and prose poems. Weaving current events, personal experience, history and even mythology he poignantly captures the pain and joys of life.

Conway’s book of poetry is hauntingly illustrated by Hampton R. Olfus, Jr. with numerous dark but poignant images. The black and white drawings chillingly attempt to reveal Conway’s vignettes of life that he paints with surprising figurative language and visceral imagery. Conway’s words and the drawings by Olfus results in an eerily effective delivery of passionate feelings and emotions.  

Conway’s prose is a balance of life’s cherished occasions with the equally precious moments of inevitable death. However, there is a deep sadness resonating throughout his collection.

In a piece titled “Angst I,” Conway writes:

The fear of being alone can be like man’s secularized concept of God’s imminent return…that only extroverted sinners will perish in Gehenna. While the earthly Spokesmen of God’s Word will flourish eternally in some cinematic kingdom in the sky.

Some of his poetry immortalizes and speaks for those who have perished in tragic events like in, “The Avenue, or the Day Marcia Williams was Killed.”

A stray bullet smashing a window
like a fallen chandelier shattering
against a marble floor: a spray of hair
sweeping across an un-attended steering wheel
like a peacock’s feathers…children staggering
out of now unfamiliar doors; racing
into the mist of terror-stricken faces flanking an ever restive Avenue.

Conway’s multi-dimensional themes keep the reader engaged throughout.  He explores “Oppression,” in its many permutations - familial, relational, personal, geographic, musical, social, spiritual, etc. Many of his verses convey feelings that stay with the reader long after the book is read.  The emotional resonance is entangled with his weaving of origins of a people cursed today with scars of yesterday. He writes of the poem’s characters seeking feelings, but experiencing only a world of numbness. He often expresses loss with a juxtaposition of visceral, physical imagery with a tone of clinical coldness and detachment.

“The Poetic Vibrations of A Matured Butterfly,” is a book of reflections of grief and loss, and the processing of those emotions. Conway pays tribute to Martin Luther King in, “The Consequences of a Blackman Bringing Fire,” which speaks to social dynamics.   But some reflections express the warmth that certain memories provide as in:

Nostalgia sometimes encircles a man
like the wintry wind; making him draw his coat
tightly and, reside in the warmth that it provides

A lot of dark images bubbled to the surface while I read these poems, but regardless overall it was an exciting collection of poetry. I think you’ll find that Arthur Lee Conway is a poet to read now and to watch in the future.

About Arthur Conway

Arthur Lee Conway is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of Walking Through the Mist of Life, The Strange Ways of Dragons, and has written his third book: The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly.

Visit for more information on Arthur Conway


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