#BookReviews #poetry

This week I have some wonderful poetry books for you. They are quick reads, each one may take just an hour but the thoughts and emotions of these awesome poets would touch your heart.

Minus One by Elizabeth Merry

Minus One by Elizabeth Merry is a collection of short poems and haiku that could be read in less than an hour, each poem has a new theme though all are related to life. Some are vague and you have to figure out your own interpretation. Some lovely memories have been recorded in these poems besides the loss and the pain.

‘Seascapes’ transport you to the beach in a joyous mood, ‘Landscapes’ remind you of suffocations and ‘My Girl’ would fill your heart with aching delight. Read them slowly to discern the real meaning of haiku, as some of them whisper emotions through them. My favorite poems are ‘My Girl’ and ‘Yellow Dress.’

Shadows by Anita Dawes

‘Shadows’ by Anita Dawes reflects on the shadows of life, some of which stay behind us while others inspire to drive away sadness and despair. The themes are universal and symbolize love, darkness, light, time, goodness and dreams. Most of the poems are short and focused. I like the clarity of style and thoughts.

‘Color me Red’ brilliantly describes the moods and yearnings of the poet; ‘Broken’ touches upon those moments of disillusionment and desperation when we need an affectionate touch to reassure ourselves and ‘Nine Gates’ is a little ambiguous but I guess the gates refer to our journey of life, with a message of caution at each step.

Wrong Mouse would make you smile. This collection is a nice assortment of challenges that life throws at us and how we handle them. 

Poetry For you, Truths For Me by Tara Aryan

‘Poetry For You, Truths For Me’ by Tara Aryan is profoundly poignant poetry that rides on the waves of raw emotions, revealing how painful adolescent love becomes if the young heart breaks for whatever reasons. Each poem oozes with emotions that would tug at your heart, pull you into the abyss of her agony, make you a part of her “dark, stormy skies.” Her distress reaches its crescendo with ‘In This Cage’ and ‘Let It Rain,’ as the imagery is devastating in those two poems: “chains cling tightly, frozen, welded into my toughened skin.” I wonder how could love cage you, “anxiety siege you,” a “cloak of claustrophobia wrap around” you yet her words seem so plausible!

Most of the poems have been written in blank verse but there is a rhythmic touch in many, a yearning to move on yet the feeling that there could be no happiness, no life without her lost love. Tara’s style is realistic and could be related to any kind of hurt that is unbearable. Despite the lump in my throat, I could feel the wow factor in her style of expression, so pure, so honest and candid. A big hug for the poet for keeping her head high at the brink of drowning in deep seas of sorrow and pouring the grief into poetry. Bravo!

Poems in this collection mature as the poet enters the realms of understanding and learns to handle life. Wisdom dawns, rage steps in, Tara’s tone changes and a ray of hope shimmers in the later poems. ‘Liar, Liar’ is powerful in this context and lays bare some more truths. Some of the poems would haunt you, touch you deeply and you might need a face tissue while reading. I consider myself emotionally resilient but I had to put my kindle down to balance my emotions.

This one gets 5 shimmering stars.

Thank you.

Balroop Singh.

If you like poetry,  check my latest book: Magical Whispers

You can click here for more poetry.

Life Lines #BookReview

I often say that poetry is my first love; we soar and swing on the wings of words together. I share my secrets with her and her caresses sooth me like the lullabies of a mother. Poetry books immediately allure me and if the recommendation is made by authors like D. Wallace Peach, I don’t even give a second thought to dive in. Thank you Diana, for the inspiration to read this beautiful book. Here is my review.

My Review:

‘Life Lines’ by Sue Vincent highlights the paths of life we traverse – from innocent laughter to the snowy lanes of life, from the depths of sorrow to the light that beckons us, from the abyss of tears to the memories that pull us out; whether it is past or present, life is woven with delicate threads that bind us into a “purpose” and inspire us to “fall in love with life at every passing day.”

Sue’s poetry flows like a steady stream that takes in all the upheavals in its stride and absorbs them, keeping the hope alive. She has a unique style of playing with the symbols that reach your heart:

“flames caress the moon,” for the glow of sunset,
“scattered motes of possibility in the darkness,” for the stars,
“two ravens” for thought and memory, “winter leaf” for self,
“heart-beat of earth” for sea,
“shadows in the glass” for joy and pain.

While ‘Flowers’ brilliantly captures the journey of a woman, ‘I’ emphasizes how the choices of life are snatched away from us unawares! ‘Door of Dreams’ exhorts us to rise from our inner world to “face the demons of today” and look beyond. There are many such poems that would inspire you to keep the flame of hope aloft. I felt ‘Sunset’ could be one of my favorites but then ‘Just One’ mesmerized me with the thoughts of how many kinds of love encompasses us. Each poem exudes an emotion, profound yet subtle.

The poems in this collection need to be savored slowly, to be re-read with sips of your favorite tea, coffee or wine. Highly recommended.
– Balroop Singh

#Life #Emotions #BookReviews

The journey of life is veiled in colors. I have written many times about life yet these two books revealed some more layers for me.

I was drawn in by the analogy – ‘Life is like a bowl of cherries.’ It led me into various alleys even before I opened the book. I love short stories and Sally’s stories regale you with various experiences that are woven into the inescapable web of life. The book begins with ‘The Weekly Shopping’ – the most appropriate, humorous yet grim comment on how technology has crept into our lives. It would make you wonder: can we escape such a trap?

Cronin’s Crisp style of writing, her adroit crafting of characters and her inspirational tone gleams through out the book. Kindness of Elsie would melt your heart when you read ‘The Scratch Card’ and ‘The Date’ would make you dance despite your age. Jennifer’s positivity and planning is superb while The Nanny took my heart away! It is hard to pick up a favorite story, as all of them tingle some emotional cord. A perfect combination of sour and sweet, I savored this “bowl of cherries,” which has a sprinkle of some lovely poetry. Highly recommended.

***

Finding a Balance by Lauren Scott captures myriad emotions that beseech us to accept whatever life offers and find a balance in tears and happiness. A combination of deep love and yearning, the poems in this collection exude realism, speak of sadness but also offer soothing thoughts. Scott knows that our only choice is to move forward. While we seek answers to our questions, comfort can be found in prayers and hope.

The poems are written in a simple and straight-forward style and are easy to understand. There is a craving to rewrite some unpleasant chapters of life, to open new doors, to brush aside dejections and embrace light. My favorite poem is ‘The Box,’ as “The walls stood bare waiting for memories to dress” evoke memories we cherish. Lovely!

Thank you.
Balroop Singh.

#BookReview: Subject A36

Some books leave a lasting impression on your heart and mind. Recently I happened to read another such book and therefore have to share my review here too.

Subject A36 by Teri Polen is a brilliant take on futuristic experiments that could allure many ambitious scientists who live in their self-created bubble of plucking everything from nature to manipulate it for the mighty and the rich. It is harrowing to imagine that “The Colony” kidnaps children to strip them of their coveted genes to create “perfect humans” for those who could pay the price!

This book engages you from page one and keeps you on the edge of your chair to read – what next? I couldn’t put it down and each time it revealed something new, I muttered wow! Written in a simple but eloquent style, Polen doesn’t waste a word in unnecessary descriptions; she focuses on the story and the outcome of action. 

“Harvesting” – a shuddering term in connection with human beings but it lies at the center of this book, which gets darker as it proceeds.

Despite its theme, this book draws its strength from the emotional aspect of the story, which keeps you assured with the conviction that goodness can never be rooted out; there would always be kind people like Brynn, Noah and Paige. Love would remain the ultimate conquering force. It’s the love of Asher and Brynn, the friendship and benevolence of Asher, Noah and his team, the goodness of Garrett Solomon that shines in the abyss of darkness. I detest “The Colony” and there lies the success of Polen in crafting the perfect villains that live in it. I am eagerly looking forward to its sequel.

I’ve given it glowing 5 stars.

Thank you for reading.

If you like poetry, please check my latest book: Magical Whispers

#BookReview: Lords of Chaos

Never have I read any fantasy series faster than D. Wallace Peach’s ‘Unraveling the Veil’ trilogy. Too much fantasy doesn’t humor a realist like me, who likes to blend both but subtle realism in these three books amazed me. Lords of Chaos is the third book in the series. I’ve enjoyed all three.

Lords of Chaos, as the name suggests, acquaints us with “the First of Chaos,” who unleashes unspeakable devastation and despair in the fantasy world created by D. Wallace Peach. The story unravels deeper deceptions, as nobody could figure out who had robbed whom of his body and who was a changeling. Even so-called leaders couldn’t be trusted. Elves, changelings and goblins – all have to pay a heavy price as their world falls apart. Jungles are burnt, chaos rampage through their lands and innocent people drown in floods. Truth, compassion and kindness are thrown to the winds.

This book is a subtle comment on the world of today, hinting at the cunningness and selfishness of the people who hold authority. It seems to suggest that those who ignore their blessings, those who conspire against their own people and don’t respect each other are bound to face dire consequences.

The highlight of this book is the exquisite description of war scenes, so rare in modern literature. I marvel at the poetic prose, in the midst of war:
“Colossal chunks of sculpted stone, the elegant art of master manipulators, smashed against the sheer walls and plunged into the silver river far below.”
“Braced within the trees, she screamed and shifted. The air rippled with heat. Leaf litter withered. Twigs smoldered and erupted into flames.”

This book remains unpredictable till the last page but the trilogy must be read in order, if you want to understand the values embedded within it. Highly recommended.

– Balroop Singh