Book Review

Book Review: The Circus of Forgetting by Barbara Duffey

Rating: Four out of five stars

18803129This chapbook is based on memory and forgetting, connecting it to the cover image and the “elephant never forgets” saying. The content of the poems is family-centric, revolving around tragedies within specific members of the family.

The chapbook itself is a circus, describing characters that might belong in the freakshow, such as a man made of radiation, a man who spontaneously combusts, and a one-woman Wonder Show.

Ongoing themes include the darker aspects of life and how the world continues to move on, even after tragedy. Other dark themes include suicide, accidental death, divorce, and bulimia.

Duffey’s writing is unique in that she uses dictionary definitions to add depth to her poetry. The interjected words and their definitions make the reader question how it relates, bringing a whole new level to the work.

And there’s an Emily Dickinson reference, which in my opinion, adds to any book!

I recommend this book to anyone who has been going through tough times and needs a new perspective when dealing with tragedy.

This review can also be found on Goodreads.
Picture from Goodreads.


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