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Down the Rabbit Hole
Paul Kiritsis, PsyD candidate, DPhil., MA (Psychology), MA (History)

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Origin: Poems from the Crack of Dawn

 

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The eternal search for understanding and completion must be the plight of every individual. It begins when you can shed the skin of Western thought and influence. It begins when you leave the highways of the earth and begin venturing into the dust roads of the starry night. It begins when you return to the crack of dawn – the dawn of both life and creation, as to understand the new one must first become versed in the old. It is indeed the journey of a lifetime – perhaps many lifetimes. Despite the fact that the dust roads of the starry night where once highways of knowledge, all is not lost. Many of us have finally awoken and have invested in bulldozers, shovels and anything else we can get our hands on to finally begin clearing the forgotten roads once travelled by our predecessors. I am certain that one day we will find our way back to the stars again.

Dawn Will Come.

Origin was written over a time frame of two years. The collection is comprised of one hundred and eleven poems. Heavily influenced by the philosophy of Ancient Egypt, the entire scope of the work deals with the evolutionary nature of the human mind; both on an individual and collective level. In fact, the poems in the book are divided into four main sections which pertain to the wheel of life; birth, adulthood, old age and death-rebirth, likening human experience to cosmic cycles.

Some are descended from the East, the place of the rising sun. They sing of fruit birth, rebirth and immortality. They are here to explain the vegetative mysteries. Their element is water. Others are from the North, the domain of spiritual transformation and of heaven. Full of inspiration, they have brought the ‘light’ of wisdom, vision and ecstasy. Their element is air. From the West are the poems whose soul is fire, who mourn the loss of life and lament extinction, disease and dismemberment. The remaining poems come from the South and cannot transcend impotence, stupor and madness. They are of the earth.

Some of the main themes that the author begs his audience to consider include the ways by which providence expresses itself within the borders of society; how a complex, developing civilisation on the shores of scientific breakthrough isn’t necessarily better off than a simpler, more primitive one driven by religious dogma; the manner employed by the unconscious mind to speak not literally but through metaphor and symbol; and how in true love there is no room for a swollen ego or pride. The book is designed to stimulate the reader by tackling these themes from different angles and demanding not only a certain degree of personal imagination but also an open mind to envision a future free of boundaries.

Reviews

Paul Kiritsis’ “Origin: Poems from the Crack of Dawn” is an inspiring and thought-provoking series of poems that cover birth, growth, middle ages and death. His thoughts range from universal change to growth and changes that individuals make through their life. I believe that based on a person?s background, each will interpret these poems differently.

The book is divided into four sections that the author calls cardinal sections which reflect life as we know it. The poems reflect birth- whether it be through scientific study, a new individual or a new thought; growth- which can be seen as personal, or spiritual; middle ages which talks about how we as individuals suffer from natural disasters, extinction of countries due to poverty and death; and death- where we experience aging, changing our focus in life and coming to terms with the eventual loss of our life.

“Origin: Poems from the Crack of Dawn” by Paul Kirirtsis is not a book that one can just breeze through. Readers need to take their time and maybe read the poems more than once to get the full meaning the author is trying to portray. From a psychological point of view, the poems reflect many of the topics I cover with my college students in „Lifespan Development? and I have recommended this to be put on our reading list.

- Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views

 

A scholar of poetry, Paul Kiritsis brings readers a treat with ” Origin: Poems from the Crack of Dawn”. Focusing on starting again and the tenacity of the human spirit, Kiritsis is vivid in his verse and very creative. “Origin” is moving and excellent poetry, a collection that can’t be missed. “Do You Know…?”: Do you know/that there is/No moment in time/Where I am/rendered as groundless/As that which is/full of thunder/from the laughter/in your eyes?

- Midwest Book Review

 

It is always a treat to hear from writers outside of the US, and the two debut poetry books that come from Australian author Paul Kiritsis are no exception. Due to some overlap in theme between them, I’ve decided to tie both books together into one review.

The first book, Origin: Poems from the crack of dawn, divides the 111 poems into four “compass point” sections that are more emotional than physical: East (birth, rebirth, immortality, “water”), North (wisdom, vision, “air”), West (loss of life, disease, “soul on fire”), and South (poems “of the earth” that cannot rise above earthly problems). Incorporating Egyptian imagery throughout, there is an incantatory quality to many of these poems, and those who enjoy that kind of poetry will enjoy this book. It is clear Kiritsis is well versed in Egyptology, and I enjoyed learning a bit as I journeyed along through the poems.

Origin has its strengths and weaknesses. Many of the poems are well-crafted, yet some feel like an interchangeable variations on a theme. There are also some pacing problems in the book as a whole. For example, the author does a wonderful job of laying poems together to create a mood, as he examines Egyptian history, family and love in the strong “Of the East” opener. Then we reach page 69 and a poem titled “Funland” moves us to an amusement park and intrusively breaks the mood. Some unusual rhymes in this poem mix with some rather common ones, for an uneven overall effect.

Generally, Mr. Kiritsis is stronger when working with free verse than rhyme. One of the poems I especially liked was “Sacrilege,” which closes as follows:

My mistake is that I’ve let running tears use time to morph a cave preserving all my love to stone. My sacrilege is that I’ve forgotten that a phoenix can be born of even stone.

Another is “The Inlet,” where we too “can almost taste the spearmint of the water, the French Vanilla of the sand.”

Yet some unevenness in his first effort is made up for in his more focused second book, Hermetica: Myths, Legends Poems.

-   David Messineo, Executive Editor, Sensations Magazine Fall/Winter 2007 – Page 345

 

Paul Kiritsis writes in “Origin: Poems from the crack of dawn” the sovereign language of the soul and explaining the order of things in our universe. Poetry reminds of our origin and reawakens moments that would otherwise be lost in a trail of dust. It fuses what has been, what is, and what shall be; it brings all ages together as one in the present, the now.” In this compilation we encounter each realm of life, the bare existence, and unending time.

Organized in four sections denoting elements of water, air, fire, and earth you will be moved beyond belief as you absorb each piece of work. Paul Kiritsis has written from his very core and has given a wonderful gift for all to read.

As Paul grows in his journey he also enables the reader to begin a journey of our own. Each journey, although traveling in different directions, seeking, as Paul would say, fulfillment and completion.

- Danelle Drake, Rebecca’s Reads