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Review: The Silent World That Won’t Stop Talking, Nico Lim’s Daring Debut

On 13 February 2020, Nico Lim posted on his Instagram account @_flashpoetry, for the first time. This post signalled the beginning of a new project; an attempt to break down his hesitancy to share his creative work. This demolition of his caution hardened barriers manifests itself in The Silent World That Won’t Stop Talking, Nico’s debut poetry collection.

On 13 February 2020, Nico Lim posted on his Instagram account @_flashpoetry, for the first time. This post signalled the beginning of a new project; an attempt to break down his hesitancy to share his creative work. This demolition of his caution hardened barriers manifests itself in The Silent World That Won’t Stop Talking, Nico’s debut poetry collection. 

Fluid and tender, Nico’s debut poetry collection is an unearthing of ancient wisdom in thoroughly modern experiences. Stripping back the layers to capitalism, city living and time, Nico bears witness to all things, from microscopic atoms to dizzyingly large ideas. His existentialism is extended through the celestial and earthly imagery in Rose Clark’s lino-cut illustrations that are scattered throughout the work.  

The collection is divided into thematic sections, the first titled ‘New Worlds Remain’. These poems seem to represent Nico’s personal philosophy, as explored through grounded observations and lucid imaginations. Imbued with existentialism, he speaks with the clarity of a wise conscience. It feels like Nico is a loving future self, reaching through time to remind the reader not to squander their youth, and to learn everything they can about life. Nico provides something like a poeticised self-help book wherein his artful words of wisdom pull the reader into a warm embrace. 

The section ‘Love’ is provocatively vulnerable. Nico’s understanding of love encompasses many different types of relationships. He illustrates the archetypal clumsy romance of a twenty-something year old: inherently insecure, fresh and beautiful. Nico goes further to provide a delicate description of platonic love, “Friendship is being seen/ accepted/ time & time again”. Also found in ‘Love’ is an ode to parents, where Nico’s ability to walk the line of being both deeply personal yet widely relatable is fully exhibited. With compassionate clarity, he describes parenthood, “They are the love/ that was pure enough/ to sacrifice everything/ then let you go”. 

Nico’s stanzas in the section ‘Society’ elucidate the common, wilful longing of younger generations for a better world. He details our shared hunger for more than capitalism, our disdain for divisive politics and a generation-wide desire for peace and fairness. Nico toys with various cultural microcosms amongst young people in Naarm; drinking, ego and familiar virtue-signalling ‘wokeness’, alongside discussing the marred path of patriotism in Australia, with its colonial and racist histories on stolen land. He ponders how one can be proud of where they come from, and ascribes his sense of belonging to Australia to the natural world, which he puts in direct contrast to national pride as is constructed through barbecues and footy. Nico's critique of the modern mind covers the self, interpersonal relationships and society at large, encapsulating the vast consciousness of the twenty-first century in couplets and prose.  

Nico’s poetry is a manifestation of himself. The collection fosters a certain closeness between the reader and the poet; a blessing. There is an accessibility to Nico’s work, differing from the alienating classic poetic style of shy self-conscious words, with veiled meanings and an unsettlingly perfect subject matter. For more seasoned poetry consumers, Nico’s understanding of poetic form, rhyme and rhythm will also delight. Holding this poetry collection feels precious, like holding a little carving of Nico’s soul. Go gently with it, take your time to read each poem, and most of all, enjoy!

'The Silent World That Won’t Stop Talking' launches 19 February, from 5:30-Late at the Black Spark Cultural Centre. Entry is free and the event will feature poetry reading, live music, food, and chai courtesy of Om Shant-Tea Bar.
Buy the book here: https://poetrybynico.bigcartel.com/product/the-silent-world-that-wont-stop-talking
Follow Nico's poetry on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/_flashpoetry/

 
Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Five 2022

EDITION SIX 'RETROFUTURISM' AVAILABLE NOW!

Our last print edition of 2022 is here! This wild, visionary edition is filled with burning nostalgia, glittering hope, and tantalising visions of the future, past, and present.

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