The Sand ' Ashes  Reviews Are In!!

"BRILLIANT, SIMPLY BRILLIANT"

Review rating: 5 Stars -reviewed by Rabia Tanveer

Sand 'n Ashes by Paul Tait is a collection of ninety-five poems that covers everything from love to affection to anguish to transcendence and everything in between. The poems look deceptively easy and simple, but when you read further, you realize that there is something far deeper than one expects. I had to take my time with these poems. I am a former literature student and I thought these poems would be a piece of cake for me.  However, these poems were so good, I had to take a moment, step back, and appreciate them for what they offer.

My favorite part of this collection was the one called “Fragments” because these were short, sweet little verses that were very deep and had hidden meanings. Every time I read them, I got to decipher another meaning and something far more different than what I had thought before. My favorites were “Bones Party,” “Bloodletting,” “Cannot Fool the Lie,” “Track 13,” “How Often Do I Scream” and “Nine for Movement.” These were rich poems that gave me something more than I was expecting and I loved that. “Glass Tower” is another favorite and so is the “Stale Break Rotten Cheese.”

The artistry involved in writing Sand ‘n Ashes is brilliant and very dynamic. Poet Paul Tait showed his true genius when he expressed his thoughts in the minimum amount of words. The poems were deep; the words were heartfelt and very creative. I felt that I gravitated towards the darker and deeper poems and he handled them beautifully. These poems are really cool and I was lost in them! Brilliant, simply brilliant!

5 Stars - reviewed by Christian Sia

Did you talk about his earlier works? Why didn’t I know about them? You know, I am a fan of Paul Tait, yes, just recently, after discovery the gem that is Sand 'n Ashes, the most gorgeous collection of poems I have read this year, and one that I will carry with me for a long time, together with Yogo Poems: Lines to Unfold By by Leza Lowitz. In this slim book, the reader receives an offering of ninety-five, well-crafted poems that feature exciting themes — time, love, the crude day-to-day reality that stares one in the face with its monotony, the throb of life, dreams, wishes, and death. But there is more in between; energy, music, style, and the seductive voice that calls the reader to read between the lines and listen to the silences.

One of my most favorites is “Kerosene Spleen,” a rhythmic poem that is loaded with imagery and beauty: “If you choose / the blues / Oh, yeah, man – / all the way / If you drink/ Kitchen sink /Kerosene / spleen / Play ‘n play /Don’t curse the day /She graces your pleasure /Bends over forever /Don’t mess with it /Eat well from the feast /Trees shall be / Reborn.” Paul Tait demonstrates wonderful mastery of the science of free verse, and his rhythmic style measures with the rhythm of the reader’s heart. Each line break is timely and calculated.

The lines are short, exciting, and elegant. I enjoyed the diction which draws from the common experiences of life, each word carefully chosen and endowed with poetic energy. Sand 'n Ashes is a beautiful collection and readers will easily identify with the wonderful poetic seasons it evokes. Paul Tait’s poetry is a delightful read for fans of free verse and I will be going back to it to read some of my favorite lines.

5 Stars - reviewed by Romauld Dzemo

Sand 'n Ashes by Paul Tait is a beautiful collection of 95 poems that are captivating to read, poems that assemble a wide variety of themes touching on humanity, time and freedom, friendship, human intercourse, dreams, and a lot more. The poems read like little pearls. They are short, written in free verse, and they capture emotions that we hardly recognize, and as the reader reads from one poem to another, they feel a powerful connection to their own humanity.

The style is simple, conversational, and at times the poetic voice addresses the joys and fears, the aspirations and the dreams of the reader. Listen to the first lines of the first poem and feel the emotion and the invitation to follow one’s heart, delivered with such compelling simplicity:

“You’re tired
You want to leave
Get your coat
Tug the breeze
Follow your instincts
Follow your sun
After all,
You are the one.

Some of Paul Tait’s poems are loaded with insight. Some are just plain delightful and the reader can just enjoy their poetic beauty, the fast rhythm, the wonderful imagery and their evocative character. The familiar, contemporary diction of these poems makes them easy to read and the author has a knack for poetic phraseology. No line read awkward to me and I enjoyed the overall length of each poem. Sand 'n Ashes is a collection that will delight fans of free verse and I believe that everyone can find a poem with a message that resonates powerfully in their heart.

5 Stars - reviewed by Rich Follet

Sand ‘n Ashes by Paul Tait has a raw, visceral, quicksilver eloquence strikingly dissimilar to the mainstream of contemporary poetry. His staccato metaphors and images bob and weave like a champion bantamweight boxer, making Sand ‘n Ashes a thrilling poetic experience. Underpinning the mile-a-minute pace of Tait’s stunning verse is a simultaneously romantic and darkly threatening poetic voice -- a dangerous but irresistible splaying of words upon the page, alternately suggesting rose petals and blood spatter.
In Open a Cultured Vein, Tait displays the darker side of his gifts in a dire description of the American Dream: “It’s a mess/One big pile/of tape/Tape and blood/Spit and mud/Young hearts torn to shreds/Friends and foes left for dead/But that is how it is/How it goes.”

Compelling though his darkness may be, there is also a radiant stream of celebratory light running through Paul Tait’s work, as if he is vividly painting the joys of being human even as he rues human frailty. The gods and Fate play a key role in Tait’s verse, as in the human journey. There is a fatalistic, faintly futile sense of enduring hope running through many of Tait’s poems; for example, Electric Promethean: “We’ve got the fire this time/Prometheus plays the drums/Got to go/Make the show/Whatever else may come/Will come/Tonight.”

Paul Tait is a courageous poet, unafraid of challenging the status quo. From 11:17 pm: “Astrologer!/How dare you be so bold!/Patterns of the stars/Cannot be bought and sold.” 
The success of Sand ‘n’ Ashes lies ultimately in Paul Tait’s sublime gift for juxtaposing contrasting elements -- joy with despair; love with loss; hope with hopelessness; hubris with humility. Paul Tait is a man keenly aware that all delight is temporal; all success elusive and fleeting. He approaches even his prodigious talent with a kind of wry vulnerability that is achingly human. From Miss Muse: "What am I thinking?/How much have I been drinking?/There is no other life for me/‘cept to be/With you/Miss Muse.” One cannot help but wish that Fate will continue to favor this particular poet/muse relationship.
Purchase "Sand 'n Ashes" and all of Paul's poetry volumes online at iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Copia, Gardners, eSentral, Scribd, Goodreads, Ciando, Vearsa (Google Play, Overdrive, Playster, Hoopla)
Reviews are in for "Pirate Conductor"!
Review Rating:    5 stars By Jamie Michele

Pirate Conductor by Paul Tait is a compilation of the author's poetry, the third he's released following Markings in the Cave and Stray Lines. In Pirate Conductor, Tait has released eighty-four new poems. They range in topics that include (from among the ones which especially stood out to me): the environment, in his poem Flint; "remember when" reminiscing in his poem Poet’s Garret and a Landscape Gaze; impure extraneous relationships, in his poem Pestilence; and death, in his poem I Placed Flowers On Your Grave. Many of Tait's poems have Christian juxtaposition, but it's applied with an even hand through the collection. It's evident that the author pours his experiences into his work, particularly when reading the deeply personal lines of Apart from My Eyes and Face, where he says, "Poems are like cries, releases of tension, a cleansing of soul sources..."

All of Tait's poetry is comprised of tightly woven lines and a perfect balance of rhyme, alliteration, and assonance. Readers will find multiple layers of meaning and insight throughout Pirate Conductor, where an easy rhythm often highlights deeper text, and similarity is found in things that would otherwise seem dissimilar. It may sound like a contradiction, but Tait uses an expert, experienced brush in painting this book of poetry, both as a whole and when broken down in each line. I found myself frequently rereading verses, then sitting back and thinking, "Well, I'll be damned..." I recommend Pirate Conductor by Paul Tait to any aficionado of skilfully penned poetry, as well as to those who are looking for something more poignant and heartfelt to read.

Review Rating:    5 stars
Reviewed By Faridah Nassozi

Pirate Conductor by Paul Tait is a collection of deeply touching and impeccable poems about life in its various ways and with its endless pleasures and pains. Some of the poems depict life's complexity while others challenge these to show life's sheer simplicity, with the two contrasting angles forming a perfect blend of poems. The distinctiveness of the poems in Pirate Conductor flows straight from the alluring titles to the unique style of poetry, expressing deeply moving emotions. Each of the poems is brief, and yet carries so much depth and so much emotion.

Pirate Conductor by Paul Tait contains poems presented with an almost enchanting rhythm and a tone that will captivate your mind. The poems deliver and depict the elusive promise of life, love, pleasure and happiness that is just right there but somehow out of reach. Some of these poems present like a delicate and elusive dance between pain and pleasure, intended to speak directly to your heart - unleashing a flood of raw emotions. The beauty of Paul Tait's poems is in their depth and how multi-faceted they are; you have to draw compound meanings from each poem, making them fitting for any moment in life. If you are looking for a one of a kind poetry book that will draw you in and take you away, Paul Tait's Pirate Conductor is the book you are looking for. You will find it an enchantingly thrilling read. Presented in their raw form, the emotions are genuine and deeply reaching, making for an exciting moment.

Review Rating:    4 stars.  Reviewed By Ryan Jordan

Pirate Conductor by Paul Tait is a volume of short poems that cover a wide range of topics, including things like graduating from high school and being forced to move on with one's life, to love as both a burden and a joy. It is his third such volume and contains a great number of poems. I particularly liked 'When the nights were warm' and 'Period Peace' for their elegant simplicity and the flow hidden within the lines of the text. The latter poem contains only a series of words followed by exaggerated punctuation and was quite interesting. This volume is full of poems of various styles, but few of them go beyond a few simple stanzas into anything longer. They are all punchy, though, with powerfully chosen words that are quite impactful.

The formatting and punctuation is limited for effect, and even the capitalization is intentionally inconsistent to make the entire work feel a tad dystopian, an effect which can feel a little bit forced at times, but overall it works. Also, the sheer number of poems actually takes some of the punch away from the volume. There were more than a few excellent works and some of them were very impactful. All in all, Pirate Conductor by Paul Tait is a worthy volume of poetry sure to entertain many different readers who enjoy non-themed but excellent poetry!
Review Rating: 4 stars.  Reviewed By Marta Tandori
Pirate Conductor is poet Paul Tait’s third book of verse, with previous volumes being Markings in the Cave and Stray Lines. Verse has been historically defined as writing arranged with a metrical rhythm, typically having a rhyme. More recently, however, verse has come to represent any division or grouping of words in a poetic composition. Tait offers all of the above, with almost a flair for the uncaring, as if the words merely flow from him without rhyme or reason, simply to be there; to shock, to provoke thought, and to wrench emotion from his readers as they read the words he has laid bare. In other words, he has laid bare his soul in snatches of words grouped together in what is known, and commonly accepted as, “verse”.

Tait’s offerings are as varied as his emotional spectrum from Sad Soul Part of Me to After Her Death to Bleeding Internal to the hauntingly poignant The Splinter and the Beam. Not all of his offerings are sad, however. He offers us the hope that comes with first love in My God It Really Happened, to the more upbeat Sunday Morning Service, to my personal favorite, Summer Distance Autumn State. Poetry is visceral and subjective and, sometimes, it’s the words that make up a title that truly resonate. Tait has some interesting ones such as Pedestrian Eloquence, Middle Ground Abstract, Carefree Lightfoot and Apart from My Eyes and Face. Whatever your mood, whatever your emotional need, Paul Tait’s Pirate Conductor has something for all lovers of poetry.
Paul's third book of verse, "Pirate Conductor", will be available world-wide on September 5th!
September 5th!!  At these fine e-pub retailers:  iBookstore, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Copia, Gardners, eSentral, Scribd, Goodreads, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando, EBSCO, and Vearsa.
Reviews for "Markings in the Cave"!!

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed By Joel R. Dennstedt (Reader's Favorite)

Markings in the Cave, a brilliant collection of short poems by Paul Tait, is a profoundly personal selection of one man’s musings - perhaps unheard by the silently attentive universe that he addresses. A theme emerges from these plaintive ruminations of the soul – an unusual, contrapuntal theme told in both harmonic and discordant tones – that seems to stress a tenuous but ever-present tension between the suffering in the world and the hope embedded in religion, with a frequent interjection and nod to the comforting distortion of personal spirituality.

These poems are concise and often highly structured, but like a waterfall over boulders they always flow. The verse often ranges from the subliminal to the sublime, evoking from the wreckage of an imperfect world the possibility of hope and sacred redemption, though always with a shred of doubt. Whether pondering the elusive state of marriage or the illusive promises of death, the poetry resonates with both raw and ethereal truths that are almost fully realized, but fortunately not quite.

Paul Tait has created from his musings in Markings in the Cave a perfect and exquisite minor gem on which to gaze and from which to reflect on one’s own fallible existence in this world. Have we been abandoned to our lowly selves by our Creator, leaving us with the question asked in I Need the Moon to Renew my Eyes: Or are all God’s given gifts/Interminable rifts/With the sovereignty of man? Must we despair, as offered in The Haunted Face of the Soul You Deserted: You are not prepared – you cannot divert it/The haunted face of the soul you deserted. Must we proclaim as one man does in Empty Net: Still, I can’t help needing/What I haven’t got.

The poet is not afraid to include a subtle rhyme or two to make his poetry sing, but every rhyme is situated perfectly within the rhythm of its verse, and these poems would be much the less without them. I feel very fortunate to have chanced upon this poetry.

Reviewers addendum:  "I feel very fortunate to have chanced upon your poetry. I dislike about 99% of contemporary attempts at writing verse. Yours is exquisite."

Review by Marta Tandori  Rating: 4 Stars

Markings in the Cave by Paul Tait offers the author’s insights into Life – the spiritual Life, the after Life, the domestic Life, the love Life and all forms of Life in between, told through his Jungian “self” which somehow makes what Tait has to say all the more effective. For some poets, it has been said that they use verse as a means of sharing their thoughts with some semblance of loose structure while others use verse to present their thoughts and idealism in rhyme and rhythm. Perhaps by giving their thoughts some semblance of structure, it provides the poets with validation of some kind. Whatever the reason behind the verses, creativity nevertheless flows freely as the poet’s thoughts are tapped and words take shape, materializing in a way that is both profound and highly subjective.

Tait’s offerings seem to cover both free verse and blank verse; a free verse having no set rhyming scheme and no set pattern, and the blank verse having no rhyming effect but being set in iambic pentameter. Markings in the Cave are all about Life Markings: The Self, the Ego and the Soul as well as Box, clinical observations on what the author once was, as represented by the contents of a box, to more bittersweet reflections in Had I Known Your Name. Each verse strikes at a core of vulnerability in Domesticity, Parts One and Two and Like the Breath of a Candle. Some might arguably take the stance that Paul Tait’s offerings are merely the ramblings of a man who hides behind words which seemingly have no meaning. Perhaps…except that for every argument, there’s always a flip side. How about Paul Tait exposing his vulnerabilities, his passions and his life as he knows it and believes it to be in Markings in the Cave, in plain view for all to see and experience through his eyes? How’s THAT for a flip side?

Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer  5 Stars
Ahh, poetry. The genre of literature that perhaps above all others expresses a person’s feelings in the most primal and beautiful way possible. I love a great work of poetry, and search it out often. Most frequently, however, what I find is not work that provides the transcendental quality that lovers of the poetic form are looking for. Well, this certainly is not the case for the new work by poet Paul Tait, Markings in the Cave. A short work, this book will provide readers with a truly beautiful experience of poetry. The topics vary from domestic life to spiritual life and more, but the one thing that draws the work together is the poet’s unique voice and framework.

I very much enjoyed Markings in the Cave. Paul Tait has provided his readers with a lovely collection that will resonate deeply within their psyches and their hearts. The rhythm of many of the poems is almost musical. The work is very readable, but readers will find themselves pausing between each separate poem for at least a beat, taking in and allowing the words to wash over them. I can easily state with confidence that this is a highly successful collection, and am extremely pleased to be able to recommend it to any reader who is already a lover of poetry, as well as those who might be considering a foray into this genre for the first time. Poet Paul Tait has an obviously outstanding talent, and I certainly hope that he is already working on his next volume of verse. If it’s anything like Markings in the Cave, it will absolutely be worth reading!
Paul's latest book of verse\poetry, "Markings in the Cave", will be online February 24th!!  Pre-order now on Amazon.com!

Now available online!  Paul Tait's critically acclaimed first volume of verse, "Stray Lines"!

Available at iBookstore, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Copia, Gardners, eSentral, Scribd, Goodreads, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando, EBSCO, and Vearsa.

 

Reader's Favorite gives "Stray Lines" a Five Star review:

Review Raiting:  5 stars!
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Stray Lines is a collection of poetry by singer-songwriter Paul Tait. As the title suggests, the poems cover varying topics and emotional states, suggesting themes drawn from the author’s past and present states. There is a general sense of alienation and displacement from the world running through most of the verses, as well as a true musicality that makes it impossible to read the words without hearing a certain rhythm and melody in your head. Despite its sometimes sentimental themes, the whole collection leaves you feeling thoughtful and invigorated after reading, and I for one could not put it down.

From the word go, Paul Tait’s beautiful lyricism had me in its grip. The lexical choices, line lengths and combinations that Tait creates in his poetry are spot on to evoke the desired emotions for every different verse in the collection. Stray Lines also stands out for me particularly due to its inherent musical quality, which is rarely successful in the poetic world, but a total triumph in this collection. Whilst I enjoyed every single poem, some particular favourites of mine from the collection were the trapped and fearful sensations in ‘Even Questions Have No Home’ and the slow paced beautiful imagery of ‘Thank You’. As a former literary student and an English teacher myself, I can safely say I’ve never read contemporary poetry this good. Paul Tait’s Stray Lines is sure to delight any fan of beautiful, sophisticated wordplay and evocative imagery. Overall, a superb collection penned by an undeniably talented individual.

The List

Sign up for email announcements!

Top Paul Tait Videos for 2015

Click here to watch Paul's top viewed videos for 2015!