Book review – Prisoner of the Mind by Kyle Coare

Prisoner of the Mind is the debut collection of poetry from UK poet Kyle Coare.  He states that it’s “a collection of poems about mental health, addiction and all that makes us prisoners of our minds.”

The book begins with ‘Shattered Mirror’ and I immediately get a feeling that I’m going to enjoy Kyle’s poetry as the rhythm and assonance in this poem really appeals to me.  I’ve highlighted the repetition of sound to explain.

Shattered mirror, refects a splintered past
a heart of glass, cracked and smashed
the shards slash, cutting deep slivers
memories smash, as I shiver

This poem also has great flow throughout, and I liked the recurring theme of broken glass being associated with a broken past.

The title poem, “Prisoner of the Mind” describes how, in mental illness, we are trapped by the thoughts within our mind, but has an overall message of hope that things can and will get better.

These walls, once loomed so large, now feel two feet tall . . .

locked away, behind thoughts new, fresh, clean and true
the doubts creep away, no longer getting their say

This book will resonate with anyone who has experienced mental illness or addiction, the poem ‘Demon in a Glass’ portrays what I assume is a typical experience of an alcoholic; drinking to numb the pain, to a state of oblivion, through remorse, despair, hopelessness and then the cycle starts again.

I will end with just one more poem which attracted my attention through its title; ‘Graveyard Judges’ speaks of the desire to just give in, lay down and die, but shows the strength that is needed to hold on to the smallest glimmer of light and pull yourself away from the darkness.

“A delicate flower, full of life, a delight, so pretty a sight
growing strong against the death, decay and the weeds
reminder to be strong, through darkness comes light
if I lay down, accept this, so much beauty will be missed
so instead I planted seeds

Overall a very promising debut and I certainly look forward to reading more of Kyle’s writing.


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Hi, I'm Karen, creator of which is home to my poetry, art and general ramblings. I am the author two collections of poetry, 'Kaleidoscopic Beauty' & 'I am the Stars in the Sky', and the children's book 'All That Glitters' (not yet published). I also enjoy running.

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