Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Gethsemane by R. Douglas Jacobs

An Epic Poem about Us
by R. Douglas Jacobs

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: November 4, 2011
Publisher: RDJ Publishing
Genre: Literary Fiction | Poetry
Print Length: 168 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


It’s often said that certain books only come around once in a generation, Gethsemane is the kind of book that maybe comes around once in a lifetime, and is presented as a literary innovation destined to be a cultural artifact, not just fictional pulp. Gethsemane is not your epic poem in the traditional sense. Its body of work is composed as an ode in three acts, but formatted as a linear narrative that is divided by one hundred forty-eight verses that read like sonnets. Each stanza (or poetic sentence) is no longer than twelve syllables in length, and each ends in a unique rhyme. Not a single rhyme was repeated, which accentuates the melodic beauty of each verse. The antagonist is also the protagonist-one of biblical lore who takes us on a journey to better understand the ominous nature of our being, as humans, through his actions of deceit and seduction. Still, the irony we discover in following his journey is one predicated on redemption as its central theme. Gethsemane is not only meant to enlighten our senses from a philosophical standpoint, but the tales interwoven within these pages will immerse your imagination in depths seldom explored in contemporary literature.

Gethsemane (Commercial Book): An Epic Poem about UsMy Review
Gethsemane by R. Douglas Jacobs

R. Douglas Jacobs followed his creative heart and has composed a narrative that is unique, stirring and thought-provoking. Gethsemane is unlike anything I have read before, written in poetic prose with a gentle cadence, it may take the reader a page or two to relax into each line, and allow the words to flow, unleashing a tale told in three parts.

Told from the POV of Lucifer, we watch his fall from God’s grace, his pride and ego blinding him to any consequence as he turns his back on all he has known. Through his own darkness, Lucifer causes the creation of Hell. His trickery and deceit, his manipulation of those around him and finally pulls man into his web, becoming prideful, sinful and falling away from the teachings of good. Is there a karmic retribution for his evil? Is it possible that one day, he will suffer as greatly as others have because of him?

R. Douglas Jacobs went out on a limb, writing with a brilliant talent and an abundance of feeling, all while not preaching to his audience. There is the classic good versus evil, as well as the results of the struggle between the two. This is not a poem to rush through, there are no funny lines to lighten the mood, but there is a beauty in the written word and the story that shines through with an atmosphere that feels otherworldly. For those who enjoy trying something off the beaten path, who like to explore other reading venues and who have the time to savor each line while appreciating the efforts of written art, I highly suggest looking at Gethsemane. A warm fire, a glass of wine and Gethsemane, makes a beautiful reading experience.

I received this copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Oh wow, this sounds like the best thing about it is the style of writing. Poetic, beautiful and creating awesome images. That sounds like quite a riveting read to me ^^

    1. Hey Olivia! It took me a couple of pages to stop forcing each stanza and just let it flow!