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IMMORTALISED IN INK Review – An Examination of the Horrors of Depression Through the Beauty of Poetry

Immortalised in Ink was written by N.P. Hunt

Cover art by Ria Fend


I should probably disclose that I’m not a huge fan of poetry in general, although I still found myself moved by N.P. Hunt’s Immortalised in Ink, which can be purchased here. The collected volume of dark poetry focuses on how people deal with loneliness and depression, and while it’s hardly an uplifting read, it still packs one heck of a punch. Although this is a little different from the material we would usually cover here on Dread Central, depression is a real-life horror which needs to be addressed, making this a highly relevant inclusion to our review library.

Because depression manifests itself differently depending on the individual, most of the poems collected throughout Immortalised in Ink addressed the various ways in which people can be affected. For instance, Please Disturb, which was found near the start of the book, was clearly intended to read like a cry for help, with the narrator begging to be noticed instead of ignored, something which most people with depression will probably relate to.

On the other hand, The Performer told the story of a talented young child performer who found joy in entraining others, only to be mocked for their talents by cruel and jealous people as they got older. The message here is that you should be yourself and do whatever makes you happy, regardless of what others think, and we can’t really argue with that.

Anyone who has ever suffered from insomnia (as a writer, I’ve been there), will resonate strongly with Insomniac’s Lament, which reflects upon how the mind of an insomniac will constantly dwell on dark and depressing thoughts as they lay in bed unable to sleep. Depressed people can often expect to feel tired and miserable as they go about their day, something which Hunt clearly understands.

The book takes its name from a line in When We Need to Bleed, which was a particularly depressing entry about self-harm. Which is never an easy topic to address, so we have to commend Hunt for tackling it head on instead of just giving it a passing mention.

Because it’s 2020, there was also a poem titled COVID-19 (The First Days), which highlights Hunt’s cynical attitude towards how the government has largely treated minimum wage workers as expendable while also praising the healthcare professionals who have so tirelessly fought to protect those infected with the disease. This was arguably one of the hardest hitting inclusions in the entire volume, and seeing as the real-life situation with COVID-19 only seems to getting worse, it will probably linger in your mind longer than you would like it to.

It’s not all bleak though, as the book ends on a message of hope, with the final poem literally being titled Happy, and being about how friends can help to alleviate depression. It’s great to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re glad the finale reminded us that depression can be beaten.

If, like me, you’re not hugely into poetry, you’ll still find Immortalised in Ink to be a daring volume which delves into the darkest corners of the human mind. It may not be the most pleasant read, but it still addresses the topic of depression in such a bold and unflinching way that it demands your immediate attention.

4.5

Summary

While it’s not exactly a pleasant read, Immortalised in Ink still offers an unflinching look at the horrors of depression. Seeing as depression is widely seen as a taboo topic in modern society, we have to commend Hunt for making people aware of the effects it can have on people’s lives through the medium of poetry.

Written by David Gelmini

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