Book Review: Daimonia Poems: Contextual, Spiritual, Poetic Reading!

Author: Phillip Kneis
Country Published: India
Copyright: Author ©2019
Date Published: September 4, 2019
Book Title: Daimonia Poems, 1997-2011
Languages: English
Pages:  312
ISBN 10: 938907469X
ISBN 13: 978-93`89074697
Paper Back: $15.62

Reviewer: Joseph S. Spence, Sr.


This inspirational poetry book is divided into five sections: I. Certainty, II. Introspection, III. Trauma, IV. Questioning, and V. Redefinition. It has two themes: The main theme is faith, which is not just based on religion, but authority, truth, and others. One could refer to this as a “Sturm and Drang” (“Storm and Stress”). This is a phase of poetry that breaks with rhyme and traditional forms, resulting in the codification of new ones. The second theme is dreams, relating to glimmers of hope during chaos. This includes hoping for a better world, and finding a way out of a nightmarish situation. This may leave one with the notion that hope may be lost, and dreams constitute the last refuge.
This book of uplifting poetry follows a clear line of thought describing the shattering of a solid belief system. It then lays a foundation in an attempt to rebuild and reshape it, similar to tearing down an old house then building a new one in its place which is different. Various languages of old, such as Latin and Greek, are used in the poems since they relate to the theme of authority as a language from Rome, which still has some importance in our culture and society. They still carry respect regarding historical ideas, and are used in religious services with authority. 

Part I: Certainty
Certainty relates to faith, expanding with clarity, sincerity, and other matters of fact; however, resiliency is not illustrated. There are times when stability is demonstrated with calmness arising from one’s unshaken mindset and belief system based on faith.

This section cover pages seventeen to fifty-four. It consists of a series of poems written in varying styles and include several parts. The first poem is “Dream Deep Down.” It consists of six parts. One could consider each part as a narrative piece, since they are not written in the regular stanza format. The following as some excerpts:

Section I:

Again, I check and seek for new, again I try to find a clue.
Again, for hints I search and go, and look for flurries in the flow.
What just exactly lies behind, what just exactly I would find.
When I now turned around to gaze,
And try to start a fury chase.                                                             (Page 18)

Section III:

Am tired now of games and lies, am tired now of useless tries.
Just tired now of false replies, am tired now of past denies.
The dreams take over and soon steal,
Thoughts of mine, wishes deep, and life itself falls into sleep.   (Page 19)                    

Section VI:

In dreams deep down I feel the truth.
The dreams deep down now try to soothe
My mind, and all the worldliest shapes.                                                 (Page 22)

Here our author addresses the state of dreams. He begins by checking for clues, looking ahead and behind. He has grown tired of the games of lies and false replies. He realizes that dreams are his only hope for making a way to feels the truth. This goes quite well with the thought of making one’s dreams a precious reality and all else as negative incidents.

The next poem is “Parssecvnda: Seqventia.” It starts on page twenty-eight and ends on forty-five. It’s divided into eighteen sections. The following are selected excepts:

            Section I:

And shaken now the world will be. That every smallest part can see.
Where lies no substance and no thought. And what a fight needs to be fought.
The end is near, each day anew. And all arrives at single choice.
And all depends on a single voice.                                                     (Page 28)

            Section II:

            And tremble will the world then sheer. The world will tremble out of fear.
            The days you had – where did they go?
            The days you had – where do they show?

            Section III:

The sounds of light tear down the night. The shades of darkness take their flight.
To this one place now abide.  At this one time now to decide.
The fates together now will flow.
The truth unmasked they now will show.                                                (Page   30)

            Section VIII:

The choice is now which stand to take.
And what alliances to make. O save me if in this I failed,
Who savest those who had prevailed!                                                 (Page 35)
            Section XVIII

O day of tears, of tears this day! What am I to say?
As guilty man I come to thee.
So be it, all now comes just to its end –
And peace to all is to be sent.                                                             (Page 45)

Here our author’s lamentation is about what faces mankind. He dwells on the positive of what will become. His vision is one of light for a new day. He sees darkness taking its flight.

The next section is “Parsqvarta: Sacrament.”  It’s written in two parts. This review addresses the second part written in the anaphora poetry format. Selected excerpts follow:

O Lamb of God, our pleas do hear, O Lamb of God, we know you’re near.
O Lamb of God, all sins then take, O Lamb of God, from sleep us wake.
O Lamb of God, have mercy then, O Lamb of God, O don’t us ban.,
O Lamb of God, rest now grant.
O Lamb of God, in promised land.                                                     (Page 50)

Here we find out author lamenting to God for saving mercy. He is pleading for humankind to be in grace with God, even though there are time when they have not been faithful. His plea is for God to take humankind to the promise land.

The next poem is “Parsqvinta: Ascension” (Pages 51-52). It’s written in two parts. Both are excellent and flow very well. The rhyming sequence moves the words gracefully down the pages. Part one addresses eternal light, while part two addresses fear.

The final poem in this section is “The Dream” (Page 54). This is an excellent poem. It addresses the nice things in the world, pretty faces, and yielding to nature’s love. It expresses the graciousness from heaven above making earthling’s paradise very nice. 

Part II: Introspection

Introspection questions reality, and focuses on the overwhelming nature of life. It’s sometimes classified as a reflection of the divine, or a natural occurrence bigger than anyone. It displays a shattering authority of the mind, breaking us down; thus, shifting our understanding and thought pattern to focus on different aspects of life.
The first poem in this section is “Simplified Version,” (Pages 57-58). It consists of six verses in the simple quatrain format with an excellent rhyming sequence. Verses I, II, and III are written in an anaphora format, with the first word of each line almost identical.

The next poem is a “Matrix Poem.” It’s similar to a “Nonet Poem,” (Pages 61-116). It has ten lines instead of nine like the nonet, and ascends from the bottom starting with ten syllables up to one at the top. Likewise, there is a similar version, which is situated like a triangle with syllables beginning from one to ten as they ascend. Each word in each column is defined in the form of a poem. They are written in English, Greek, and Spanish, which is very creative.  

The next poem is “Tempests,” (Pages 119-125). It uses a variety of narrative poetic form to explain the essence of the tempests. It has a starting point which evolves, reaches a climax stage as in a prose story line, then descends to a normalization stage after the climax. It outlines an understanding of how the tempests is overcome. This is very intuitive and creative.

The next poem is “Limbo,” (Pages 132-136). It relates the essence of resting, taking a break, hovering, and/or calming down. The conversations are about gibberish, nothing deep, just idle talk. One is actually existing in a state of mixing things around. The themes in this poem are: one should not be afraid to live, and not be stressed, nor weary about life.

The next poem is “Remix,” (Pages 135-141). It gives a different version on one’s status in life. It relates to a person’s ability to make things happen. The questioning technique is interjected through out the poem to raise the readers’ sensibility to a different level, and grasp a better understanding of the poetic theme. This is the opposite of “Limbo” stated above.

Section III: Trauma

This section looks at the impact of events which changes lives. It uses a list sequencing of short poems. Some refer to stories that have fallen, and the rebuilding of such stories and events. It reflects a state of distrust in what is classified as established knowledge and authority controlling worldwide systems and humanity.

The first poem is “Gone,” (Page 150). It takes a different turn in poetic architecture. This is written in a column format. On the left is a listing of what is gone and past. On the right is a listing of what is to come. Each line on the left regarding things gone is matched on the right with things to be done. For example:

                        Gone, not won:                                   equates to—Time so vain
                        Gone, undone:                                     equates to—Time in strain
                        Days so fast:                                       equates to—It is night
                        Days won’t last:                                  equates to—It is fight
                        Night is still:                                       equates to—Now to flee
                        Night to fill:                                        equates to—Now to be

One is able to differentiate a distinct flow of words in the form of a rhyming pattern after each statement. This gives clarity of purpose to the poem and its relationship to the real world.
The next poem entitled “RAP,” (Page 158-167) is an exposition. It outlines a theory on the subject in various ways. It begins with the words: One, Two, Three, Four, Five. The word “One” begins with a phrase. The phrase is addressed in a variety of ways from different angles relating to the word, which include the use of rhymes, and questioning technique. It gives a story relating to the word “One.” The word “Two” also begins with a phrase. It is also followed by the questioning technique. It evolves from a mere phrase, to a quote, then a sentence. The ending lines state how things are broken down into a story we want to hear beginning with the presumption “Supposed,” then leading into reality. Numbers “Three” and “Four,” also have a story relating to each word. They start with a phrase then evolve, and end with a negative point on the story. Number “Five,” begins by stating the story is life, from beginning to end, where it’s over. It progresses through the same sequencing, and reinforces the quote, that the story is over.

Section IV: Questioning

This section reveals forces active in the struggle of faith. They have been in effect since the beginning of the poems.

The poem “Silence,” (Pages 172-180), depicts an apprehension of the future. One knows the end is coming; however, stalls in the face of the inevitable. The first exposition poem is titled “Prolog.” The following are excerpts:

Once all has been said. And all has been done.
And all has been noticed. And gone to no end.
Once all this is past. Shut it now off.
And stop the influx of things so uncertain.                                                (Page 172)

Silence is broken down in three section, each addressing the temporal state of life using the questioning technique. It ends in an epilogue which states:

            And felt you the silence. And felt you nothing.
            And felt you the absence. Or has it not rather be silenced, ignored?
            And walls built around. What seen as a savior, conserver of myths?
            Can silence be nothing. And everything else?                                        (Page 180)

Here our author addresses the state of silence, what it is and what it’s not. He impresses that it’s nothing and can be nothing else by use of the questioning technique. He wants everything shut down and uncertainty stops from influxing which is not silence.

The poems: “Hide,” “Can’t You Trust,” “Puppet,” and “Inconnu” (Pages 181-187), relate to a sense of one’s feeling of: fear, lack of trust, insignificance, urging for contact with other humans because of separation, being manipulated, and a weak sense of hope. Here our authors states life is fragile. The stability we hope for does not exist in a chaotic world where consistency in perfection does not exist, and the emerging system in the common era is heading in the wrong direction with lack of love and displaying potential destruction.

The next poem “Faith No More,” (Pages 188-217), is divided in ten sections. It consists of: an exposition, opening, essence, several interludes, existence, history, ventures, dogma, and closure. It’s a form of demonic portrayal of a musical symphony. The poem is an all-out upheaval against established society in its current existence, rules, regulations, laws, and the like.  Such an upheaval also goes against the foundation of the church as a guiding force of morality in society. Our author illustrates a time is coming, such as the words outlined in the book of Revelation, the destruction of the devil in battle, and a world returning to its normal order.

The next set of poems titled: “Accept,” “The third coming,” and “Distance,” (Pages 218-221), present a struggling effort to soften the bows from the overarching theme of “Questioning.”  However, there is an effort to present an argument for knowledge in the concluding poem of this section for one to “Seek Out.”  The following are excerpts:

Seek out what’s unseen. Seek out what’s unwanted.
Seek out all that’s pounding so dearly and deadly.
That’s pounding so forcefully right now inside of you.
Right now, amidst of your plans and your workings.
Thrashing all hopes, aspiration and faiths.                                                (Page 222)

Our author believes this process could turn the situation around. He surmises that faith can be regained amidst the prevailing conditions. He professes seeking out and questioning ways and practices; however, be prepared for the findings in turning the situation around with grace.

Section V: Redefinition

This section presents a way of straightening out the chaotic and existing situation, thus, finding a way of bringing things back to normal. It’s a depiction that after a storm there will be a calm, with an ensuing rainbow shedding new light and revelation based on one’s resiliency. 

The first poem “Demon,” (Pages 224-308), is an exposition of thirty-four parts. It includes: an introduction, two interludes, three divisions, and an adjournment. It addresses the understanding of God as an inward mentor conceived as existing in the nature as a demon or inspired by one.

The history and etymology of demons date back to middle English age, the word means, "evil spirit." When examined in late Latin, daemōn has several meanings: "evil spirit” “pagan deity,” and “idol." Finally, dating back to Greek, daimon-, daímōn, means, "superhuman power,” “variably evil” or “beneficent, intervening in human affairs, and fate." Whichever way it’s spins, it affects the inner conscience, and is a force within to manage. Rather than tackling external phenomena, it deals internally with the self, to resituate and redefine the conflict of faith by creating a more wholesome understanding of human psychology.

The introduction begins with the following excerpts:

There’s no order here just chaos. Just some things flowing so freely.
Caring not how things are perceived.
For all is one, and all is part, and all is whole.
And nothing’s apart, and nothing’s together.
And all’s so joined, in one thing, daimonion.
One thing that speaks to us, one thing that talks to us.
One thing we are, one thing we’ll be. One thing we’re part of.     (Page 225)

Here we have a clear picture of the etymology of what a demon is and what it does inside. The chaos it creates and how it speaks to the soul creating a sandstorm of things.

The “First Division: Freedom,” addresses the first demon in the form of an expression.

            Let it flow now, let it flow.
            Let the words come out of states that indescribable at daytime.
            Working just at nighttime hours. Nighttime creatures now appearing.
            You are now quite one of them. See you not you’re thriving in darkness.
            Sleeping throughout just most of the day.
            The room’s so dark here, can’t you see?                                                (Page 227)

Here one can see quite clearly the freedom of movement by the demon and how it operates with the inner self. Communication is generated to question phenomenon and seek solutions.

The “Third Demon: Needs,” has the following excerpts:

            Something’s missing don’t I know it.
            Don’t I see it, don’t you dare, just tell there’s just all I need.
            For you’re just wrong, just all-out wrong.
            And all the truths, I may have known.
            You may have told me. May have given some outrightly.                      (Page 230)

Here we are able to see the dialogue taking place with the self-regarding freedom of movement by the demon It’s seeking a solution and a resolution of what is taking place.

The “Seventh Demon: Intimacy,” has the following excerpts:

            Hear me now truly, listen please carefully.
            For listen we must, it’s not just an option.
            Not just a choice, it’s all there is.
            And all there could be, for otherwise.
            Quite all that’d be meaningless chatter.
            And feelings untrue, and constant betrayal.
            Of who we are, and who we must be.                                                 (Page 241)

Here the demon is bringing out the intimacy involved in the process of communication. It’s not working as an individual. It’s working in a united fashion with the inner self as one entity to challenge and solve an existing problem.

The “Twentieth Demon: Control,” is taking over: Excerpts follow:
            Lift the veil, the veil of fire.
            Lift the veil, see it finally.
            Need to hide not any more.
            Any longer.                                                                                         (Page 274)

The motive of the demon here is to take control. It’s issuing orders as to what actions should be taken. There is no longer any discussion or coordination. This is the time to take control and act.

The next section is “Adjournment.” Excerpts follow:

            The demons you’ve slain, face them.
            Know them, seek them out, around the cold
            Call them and ask them, what have they wrought?
            What have they heard? What do they know?
            What do they show? But still beware.
            For demons they are, and demons they stay.
            Bigger than humans.                                                                           (Page 304-305)

Here the action is obvious there is a conclusion, which brings about an adjournment to all the actions. The demon is issuing advise on what actions to take to bring the matter to closure. In so doing, caution is advised to insure all is well and it’s the end.

The final poem in the awesome spiritual text “In All My Dreams,” is divided into XII stanzas. It addresses existing realms of possibility regarding aims for a hopeful conclusion, rather than dealing with a lengthy conflict. Practically, all of the stanzas are written in the anaphora format.

            Stanza II:

            All these dreams I have within me,
            All the obstacles that win me,
            All the darkness that wants spin me,
            All the vanity wants pin me.                                                                (Page 309)

            Stanza V:

            Dreams deep down are what I find here.
            Dreams deep down are what blind me here.
            Dreams deep down that now unwind here.
            Dreams deep down the eye of mind here.                                                (Page 310)

            Stanza IX:

            No more dreams if and ever,
            No more shall this dream end ever,
            No more than this fate bend ever,
            No more than this could stand ever!                                                   (Page 311)
            Stanza XII:

            All now gone and not returns it,
            All so gone, my heart adjourns it,
            All, all vanished for what yearns it –
            All the desperateness now learns it.                                                   (Page 311)

Our gracious author brings this awesome text to a fruitful conclusion. The demons have been defeated and the soul lives on to experience a new day, in a new way, with a new light.

This is an excellent book of spiritual poem with interpretations of biblical verses. Most of the poems are written in the narrative form. They flow very well and are easily understood. They have clarity of purpose and uses various techniques in the English literary form of poetry convention. The rhyming sequence moves the poems reverently down the pages. The words are simple and not complicated. The poems are very inspiring, refreshing and uplifting. Spirituality flowing throughout the text is excellent and well-focused. Biblical references and footnotes flow throughout the pages. Additionally, one will find references to orchestral symphony music relating to the poems. These references are listed in several poems with understandable footnotes. Some of the footnotes give the interpretation of a word or phrase in a variety of languages such as English, Spanish, Greek, and Latin, thus, avoiding a strict or literal interpretation of the word or phrase by allowing flexibility in interpreting any poem.

The author uses a series of questioning technique throughout the book in a variety of poems. They draw the reader closer into the lines for a greater understanding of the author’s intent. One could even speculate on the author’s mindset while writing a poem based on its construction. The anaphora form and style of poetry is used throughout the text more than any other poetry form. They are easily read. The first letters of each lines begin with the same words.

The introduction and acknowledgement give examples of what’s included in sections of the text in a nutshell. This makes it easy reading. One will have an idea of what is included in a section or poem, and some familiarity of the theme or morale of the story before or while reading as a guide to follow. This is a great spiritual text for relaxing and reading!

About the Author

Dr. Philipp Kneis, has been writing poetry since 1991. He also practiced photography and musical composition. He teaches cultural and political theory, transatlantic politics, and the values of Utopian thinking, while cautioning about the strict application of such thoughts. His second book of poetry follows a clear line of thought which describes the shattering of a solid belief system, and attempts to rebuild and reshape it. Some application of religion, philosophy, and existential frustration with the world as it is, rather than how it should be, are valuable sources of inspiration and meditation in the interpretation and enjoyment of his poetry.

Reviewer: Joseph S. Spence, Sr.
Joseph S. Spence, Sr.
Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is a professional military veteran, poet, speaker, researcher, and book reviewer of over fifty books published in various mediums. He authored seven poetry books: His first, “A Trilogy of Poetry, Prose and Thoughts for the Mind, Body and Soul" was a best seller. His second, “Trilogy Moments for the Mind, Body and Soul" won the Best Christian Poetry Award, and his third, “The Awakened One Poetics" won second place in the Critters Writers Workshop, and the publisher’s best seller. He co-authored four additional poetry books with the Worldwide Poetry Alliance, UK, with 100% of the royalty donated to charity for medical help.
His writings have appeared globally in journals, anthologies, magazines, ezines, the U. S. Army, newspapers, and other mediums. He was name "Apollo," the Greek mythical god of poetry by his military comrades for appreciation of his poems. He taught at Bryant and Stratton University, and Milwaukee Area Technical College, Wisconsin, after retiring from the U. S. Army. He was appointed by Governor Bill Clinton as a Goodwill Ambassador for Arkansas, USA. He is a distinguished military graduate of his army R.O.T.C. officer commissioning class at Howard University. He has inspired audiences worldwide with his electrifying poetic words and has received many worldwide awards. He is the chief advisor to the founder, Shiju H. Pallithazheth, of the most active worldwide poetry forum, "Motivational Strips," which is dedicated to uplifting worldwide humanity with inspirational poetic words. Joseph invented: “Epulaeryu Poetry," "Linking Pin Sonnet," "Seventh Heaven," and "God's Dynamic Steps” poetic forms and styles while studying English literature, creative writing, and poetry at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
His poems have been published in: Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Jamiekan Patwa/Patios, Scottish Gaelic, Nigerian Yoruba, Bengali, Assam, and Hindi. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other organizations. He loves historical poems based on his worldwide travels and resides in Wisconsin, USA.


  1. Thank you very much Setu Journal, editor Sunil Sharma, and staff for graciousness in publishing this book review for me. The publisher and author are very happy and are impressed with your effort. Thanks one again. Enjoy a wonderful New Year, don’t forget to pray without ceasing, stay encouraged, be strong, inspired, ingenious, resilient, and blessed always! Happy New Year!

  2. An Awesome Review my dear friend Joseph Sepcnce, Sr.! I am thrilled to read this and I am looking forward to reading the entire book! Paying for many more such books! Blessings to you Always!


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