#BookReviews

Winter days may be shorter but they prove to be a blessing when your Kindle is loaded with all genres of books. Each year, December happens to be at the top when I look at the books I’d read in a month. I have many reviews to share this month. Though I never set a “reading goal” but the books I could read last year exceeded my expectations.

Word Weaving #1 is a unique combination of talent; it would inspire many more poets to explore all forms of poetry – haiku, tanka, haibun, etheree, shardoma and many more! Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige encourage you to play with words to create meaningful syllabic poetry by introducing each form in the beginning of a section.

The beauty of verses by various poets shimmers like moonlight in this anthology of themed poetry. “Moon” – the favorite figure of magnificence for many poets, the haunting symbol of love is the focus of poetry in this book. “Harvest Moon” has been interpreted from fascinating perspectives – for Finn, it emits “celestial beams” reflected in the eyes of her pet while for Peach it “stitches lace” and makes “frosty hems on scarlet leaves.” There are many such images to enthrall your senses in this collection.

A must read for poetry lovers, this book is an excellent creative guide for beginners. Kudos to the editors for taking the initiative of introducing so many amazing poets in one book. I loved it.

‘Perfectly Imperfect’ is a delightful story of a young couple that would win your heart despite their rocky romance. Rhys meets Georgina in connection with her tottering business but likes her even before he could tell her his intentions of selling her company, which has been merged with CLO due to financial troubles.

Jacquie’s brilliant character oriented plot keeps you spell-bound till Rhys works out a solution. This is a light-hearted reading but gives a deep insight into relationships that form the basis of Biggar’s stories. There is a clear indication that Rhys and Georgina are made for each other! I love the way they meet, even their misunderstandings could regale. Well-written novella.

‘Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance’ is a lovely collection of personal pictures and tanka poems, which record the poet’s memories. Each poem complements the picture that precedes it and reminds us how loving relationships keep us connected despite the years that flee by.

Gauffreau takes you down the emotional lane, shares her personal experiences that anybody could relate to, as grief is not individualistic, it touches us in one form or another. A quick read but would really make you reflect on how each moment of life is precious. A beautiful tribute to her family!

The Kindle edition of this book is not compatible with Kindle or cloud reader but I could read it on my IPad.

Thank you.

If you like poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

My Creative Cave

Image from Pixaby

My creative cave
Is open from both sides
Starry nights spread their tresses
When sun wanders away.

My heart tingles with delight
When the glow of moon
Creates magic in my cave
My pen drapes around the light.

Emotions echo
To release the words
Oppressed by feral fears 
Creativity cedes her hold.

Till dawn breaks
Bringing dewy-damp whispers
And melody of flowers
A new song reverberates.

A song in synch with the surroundings
A song that soothes many hearts.
© Balroop Singh, June 2021

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

You can click here for more poetry.

#Bookreviews #Prose & #Poetry

Last month I’ve read and reviewed eight books but these two stood out due to their unique format and style. So I must share them with you.

Word Craft: Prose & Poetry by Colleen M. Chesbro is an excellent reference book for budding poets who want to learn the art of writing syllabic poetry. From finding poetic inspiration to exploring ideas, discerning your sixth sense and discovering your interests, this book is a perfect guide to writing haiku, tanka, haibun, renga, cinquain shardoma, nonet and many more. Along with the definition and details of each form, there are tips about how to write various forms of poetry. Some brilliant examples add more charm to this book.

Reading this book has been an enlightening experience for me as, I had no idea about how a gogyohka or an etheree is written and that a senryu focuses on the awkward moments of life and does not deal with sentimentality. Chesbro’s pithy style is noteworthy and the clarity of her thoughts could hone the writing skills of even a beginner. Syllabic poetry and its discipline have always scared me but this book infuses a new confidence. All poetry lovers must keep this book on their desk. Highly recommended.

5 stars!

Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon is a perfect blend of fantasy and realism, poetry and prose that holds magical qualities. Short and sweet, the story of Harold and William highlights attachment to beauties of nature and loved ones. Annette’s presence holds the key to emotions that link us to each other. Mallon’s style of connecting human relationships with willow tree, dragonflies and flowers shines through out the book.

‘The Old Man of Snow and the Snow Snake’ may appear to be a fabulous fantasy but is a magnificent comment on the avarice of man, eager to plunder nature. ‘Bubble Monster’ is a delightful tale of talking bubbles, with a child-like charm but conveys a serious message – “atmosphere is everything.”

‘My Heart is a Cave’ is beautiful and poignant; as it brings out the loneliness of a sibling who is yearning to be reunited with her loved ones. Attachments cling to us. Mr. Sagittarius could forget the names of his lovers but remembered his orchid, his Ruth and his ballerina – all natural beauties! Just within an hour, this book would fill your heart with warmth that would linger around you for a long time.

5 stars!

Thank you.

Balroop Singh.

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

You can click here for more poetry.

What is #Poetry? #NationalPoetryMonth

“The crown of literature is poetry.” – W. Somerset Maugham

Every year, I ask this question! Every year, I understand another nuance of poetry.

Each person has his own definition of poetry but putting a few words together doesn’t make poetry. A poem has a soul, a heart and an emotion. Even a haiku is meaningless without a soul.

However complex or flowery the language, a poem must be meaningful and the value of the words should reach the reader. An ambiguous poem is like an abandoned castle that lacks charm.

I’ve read many such so-called modern poems that lack clarity of thought, also those with multiple interpretations. While the latter earned my admiration, the former continue to teach profound lessons.

I keep returning to quotable definitions to understand poetry and each time I learn something new.

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” – Carl Sandburg.

I could hear that echo. I have seen the dance of shadows. I’ve embraced those shadows and put them into words.

“It may be said that poems are in one way like icebergs: only about a third of their bulk appears above the surface of the page.” – Howard Nemerov.

The ice never melts and therefore most people avoid poetry. They just touch the surface and don’t wait for a little thaw that waits within the words.

“A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley.

This is such a sweet compliment but there is no doubt that poets do try to cheer themselves by blending their sorrows into the words till they sound sweet.

“Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.” – Dennis Gabor.

A poem may not be rhythmic, but the music could be ingrained in the emotions embedded within the words. It would surely reach your heart if you pay attention to them.

“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” – William Wordsworth.

A poem without emotions would seem hollow. Poetry is the best form of expressing emotions, as just one metaphor could convey a thousand feelings.

“Poetry is the mother-tongue of the human race.” – Johann Georg Hamann.

Look around and hear the poetry of Mother Nature. We learned all those cadences from her… the rustling of leaves, the babbling of brooks, the gurgling waterfalls and all those notes taught us poetry.

“Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.” – Don Marquis.

You can share your own definition. I am eager to hear your thoughts about poetry.

You can click here for more poetry.

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

Balroop Singh.

I Can’t be Shackled…

“Welcome home,” I hope your adventures are no longer alluring for you.

“Please don’t close that door,” she sprawled on the couch, hardly paying any attention to my smile.

A cold sweep almost knocked me over, and I closed the door.

“Do you want to asphyxiate me?” She leaped toward the French window to get out into the patio and collapsed on the loveseat.

Teenage tantrums don’t sway me. I buried myself into the murder mystery that was more interesting than her shenanigans.

“I know those thoughts! Don’t mess with me; consider me as your blessing. Don’t try to tie me to your strings.”

I looked up in awe, as she spouted:

I fly with butterflies
Colors define my personality
Lovebirds emulate me.

I swing on clouds
My ochre robe blends with twilight
I am ambrosial. 

I dance on the waves
Water cannot drench me
My shimmer could dazzle.

My harp is captivating
Its strings are tuned by Nature
Its melodies manifold.

I sing with the stars
My songs sooth those who care for
The sick and deprived.

I can’t be shackled
I dwell in the wondrous woods
Warbling wistful tunes.

Pixaby images

I break free
When you take me into dark alleys
I soar beyond bickering. 

I regale relationships
But can’t get fettered to them
Don’t squabble with me.

Your expectations
Can’t carve the spectrum of my path
I am ethereal.

“Enough of your bluster,” I could merely mumble those words when she whooshed out of the door with the reminder that chiseled poetry book that I had planned, needs my attention.

Many thanks to Diana for the inspiration, initiated by her muse. Click here for the rules and have fun with your muse.

Lately my muse takes pride in poetic conversations. Thank you for reading.

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

Pick up your copy at Amazon.