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December 14, 2018

Scath Oran by Stacy Overby ~ a Review

by MK French

This is a poetry collection inspired by faeries and oral traditions within mythology. The book blurb says that the poems are taken from the halls of Tír na nÓg; this lets you know right off the bat that the mythology is heavily Celtic inspired. A few mention Norse creatures, but there's enough historical and geographical overlap that it makes sense there's a little influence. It might help to know the different kinds of fae mentioned in the poems, but it's hardly necessary. There is enough emotion and imagery that the reader will know the intent of the pieces.

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Scath Oran
September 2018; Ows Ink; 978-1946382412
ebook, print (92 pages); poetry
Poems are short and deceptively simple in word choices and rhyme schemes, but it means that your imagination is left to fill in the details suggested by the poems. I think that's where the beauty of the poems really lies: the reader will fill in the blanks with the images and situations that the words imply, and imagination is always more elaborate than words can be. When it comes to the otherness of the fae, sometimes words simply can't capture the visual that well.

Much of the imagery is dark and gloomy, adding to the melancholy feeling in it. Still, my favorite in the collection is "Siren Song," especially with the echoing line "let music soothe my weary soul." There are a lot more echoing lines in the second half of this volume, but that poem especially grabs my attention and won't let go. The irony that it's a poem about sirens doesn't escape me either.

Google Translate couldn't tell me what "Scath Oran" means, though it thinks that the language is Scots Gaelic. I wouldn't be surprised if it's one of the Gaelic languages, or some other language heavily influenced by poetry and mythology. There are interesting spellings in places, such as Styxx spelled with two x's, but that's probably because of the differences in various translations and some artistic license. It's an interesting collection and one that will definitely be well received in the Halloween season.

Buy Scath Oran at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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