I agreed to review Dreams in the Womb after corresponding with the author - Brandon Gene Petit - on Twitter regarding the power of muses. His quick replies about the topic instantly intrigued me. After visiting Petit's website, and reading more about the synopsis of Dreams in the Womb, I decided that I couldn't pass up his volume of poetry and prose, most of which, I soon came to realize, is inspired by one or more muses.
After all, dreams are what inspired me to pursue a writing career years ago, so I couldn't help but recognize Petit as a kindred spirit. Like I said - how could I not be intrigued by his work?
It took me just a few blissful hours to read Dreams in the Womb. I knew I'd love the book after reading Petit's introduction, which is more like an explanation about the source of his creativity, and in which he says he made the decision to write because he is, "...forever gratefully burdened with the pangs of inspiration."
Wow! That's such a sexy concept, and a great way to sum up the story behind your writing talent.
In fact, it is Petit's introduction that reveals his talent for writing in general - it's evident this man was destined to be a writer. It's authors like Petit who make me happy to be part of the book reviewing community, especially when I'm given the opportunity to read brilliant works from authors who may otherwise be unknown by the masses. I feel as if I've been bestowed with one of literature's best-kept secrets after having been introduced to Petit.
Most of the poems and prose in Dreams in the Womb are inspired by or based on some of Petit's dreams. Some of the poems and stories are dark, some are romantic, and some are just fleeting thoughts and feelings.
Petit has a way of choosing and using words that depict the most perfect visions and replicas of his imagination - a talent and skill that many writers just never seem to acquire throughout their careers no matter how many books they pen.
My favorite pieces in Dreams in the Womb are Redolence, Prisoners of the Moment, and Hello Again - the latter of which is beautiful, haunting, and yet sweet all at the same time. All in all, I enjoyed Petit's prose so much more than his poetry, but only by default since I'm not the biggest fan of poetry. I also found it easy to relate to Petit's prose, mainly because some of his thoughts and feelings on certain topics mirror my own.
Throughout my reading of Dreams in the Womb, I found myself continually hoping Petit would eventually get the girl and live happily ever after - then I would remember that I wasn't reading a novel, but instead, prose that often demonstrated feelings of bruising, pain, romance, and inspiration.
One of my favorite lines in Dreams in the Womb can be found in the last paragraph of My Mistress, Ocean:
"Some say that for one to dream of the ocean proves that they have subconscious desires with loose, flailing ends, and perhaps even demons gnawing at bones in the dark.....but....no, the ocean is my mistress, and at night she greets me on those starlit coasts and pulls me into braver quests with siren hands assuring."This particular thought is absolutely amazing and beautiful, especially in regards to how Petit seems to take ownership of his dream interpretation.
I also love how in Dog Ears of the Dead, Petit describes thumbing through books left behind by the recently deceased to look for "clues" and "symbolism," saying:
"There are so many well-placed sayings and coincidences all too perfect...enough to satisfy my thirst for benevolent omens and metaphors transcending the melancholy."Petit's work has a tremendous amount of depth, and I'd be a fool to pass up anything else this man has written. The emotions and feelings I experienced while reading Dreams in the Womb were nothing short of ethereal - I really felt as if I were in a twilight-zone dream state during the few hours it took me to read this collection.
Brandon Gene Petit has also written and published Ab Antiquo, Ab Aeterno, and Intrinsic Desires. Also, if you enjoy Amy Hempel's work, you just might like work by Petit.
Click on any of the images of the books below to review them in more detail on Amazon.com.
Who are your favorite poets and writers of prose? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.