Grasp: Poems, Prose, and Essays by David Yuen


Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

A penetrating observation of life portrayed through the lens of an astutely perspective awareness, David Yuen’s Grasp offers a collection of his literary mentations through poems, prose, and essays.

The variety that author Yuen presents makes for a creative mixture of literate inserts flowing with emotions, life lessons, spirituality, and intelligent inspiration. Meanwhile, there is no particular order to the book as a whole, but the reading still flows well with each narrative in the book bringing forward engaging food for thought.

Initially, what captures the attention within this book is the demonstration of author Yuen’s engaging writing skills starting with “Grasp” a chronicle that flows well while vividly setting the thoughtful framework of the interconnected elements of life, both seen and unseen, for the remainder of the work. In total, this is a work rife with the spiritual and worldly complexities of living life in this modern world. Flowing with insightful works like The Lessons So Far, as well as the emotionally inciting Death To Self, this is a book that is overall easily engaging and often keeps one rapt with intelligent dives into the light and dark aspects of being human in an often inhumane world leading to instances of quickly becoming disconnected from one another, as emphasized by his poetic excerpt of life in his poem-Rifts.

Moreover, exploring relationships, David Yuen’s essay An Aging Father’s Words To His Son, as well as the ensuing A Son’s Words To His Aging Father, are works that touch the heart of the necessity of communication in life in general; but especially in parent-child relationships. If not, regrets could ensue. Additionally, he touches on the spiritual relationship with several enjoyable renderings such as Saint Gregor and The Young Prince and The Outcast God. As well, author Yuen touches on the humor that can be found in life with a humorous excerpt titled Ode To Professionalism which also happens to be one of my personal favorites. I Live (a poetic work) exemplifies living with faith. Ramming Fists Against Wall delves into perceptions of anger. He also waxes inspirationally with works like Master Thyself and Rise.

Generally, Grasp as a whole is an engaging read. I enjoyed sharing in author Yuen’s flow of consciousness which swelled with the intriguing elements and experiences that life does foster such as the kind of grasp that one may have when it comes to handling the trials and tribulations of life. Author Yuen does well at exemplifying the complex aspects of living life in a world of duality. His written works often emphasize the contrast of duality in life; the light with the dark, the positive and the negative, and the humorous and the sad. Overall, each narrative brings into focus emotional food for thought which may incite one to experience deep thought and ensue personal revelations. I do recommend this perceptive read.