Posted in Poetry

Dreaming of Lemon Trees

Dreaming of Lemon Trees: Selected Poems by Francis DiClemente

5 Stars

The beauty of poetry is in the nature of how it is up for the reader to interpret the content. This collection feels like it entwines life, philosophy, religion and remembrance. The author takes you on a journey of what is happening at these moments of his life.

He mainly uses non-rhyme poetry with narrative poems. There is a story-telling element that gives you a voyeuristic feeling. The book is well balanced with confident pacing of an established writer.

The collection begins with shorter poems before increasing the pacing with longer more descriptive pieces. There is the repetition of themes to highlight and change the emphasis on points raised.

My personal favourite was the poem named Revelation. A short poem where each line impacts and the imagery it conjures perfectly ends with a point for reflection.

The poet shares painful images of human suffering that is quite apt for this time. There are themes of sport and events that give a delightful reminiscent feeling. While reading, you will often stop and think of similar times.

Some poems do not deliver as intended. The times when he changes his perspective on a theme with two poems produce only one winner. However, overall it is a well-produced, balanced and paced collection of poetry for enjoyable reading.
Posted in Poetry

Love and All its Condiments by Cristina Isabel

Love and All its Condiments by Cristina Isabel

3 Stars

This is a personal short poetry collection that has deep meaning for the poet but shows to the reader that it could offer much more.
Focusing on her journey to meet and fall for her husband this sentiment alone stays in the mind throughout the reading.
The poet has a sweetness and there is a schoolgirl-like charm to some of the poems as the excited passion overcomes her mind.
Both the beginning and ending to the collection move away from the poetic structure that disturbs the flow despite the content.
The poem themselves are an emotioned base with no use of metaphors or complexion. They are raw in their emotions and seem to easily have been taken from a personal diary.
With such emotions on display, it can seem like you are a witness while reading. To be truly absorbed in the poems it would help to have experienced similar emotions. Luckily this is love and it is universal so there will be parts that readers will connect with.
With such a small connection there needs to be a strength to each poem, this is not the case, but there is much to enjoy. You will have the sense you want more to story, but are happy to have been invited.

Posted in Book, review

The Book of Theresa by Keith McLaughlin

The Book of Theresa by Keith McLaughlin

5 Stars

Love and romance have an eternal connection with poetry. Expressions of love in poetry delight the soul and make you feel the grandest emotion. Yet love has many sides and branches off into various emotions.
This poignant poetry collection paints a story that deals with these emotions.
Commencing with the elation of love it begins with uplifting and creative pieces of poetry. There is a sense of irony in the name of the poem being called “Fairy Tales”. Often elation masks the effects of reality and this is a perfect beginning for the twists and turns of love.
There is a sudden change in the tone of the poems as the wonder of love is lost. Initially, it felt like this section goes on too long in wallowing in despair and suicidal thoughts. However, in reflection, this perfectly captures the utter despair that is felt when a wanted love is gone.
Once the love returns there is both a relief from the reader and character. Ensuring the tone changes again to the sweetness of love. In describing this it is clear how the author has magically played with your emotions and forced you to have empathy with the character.
From a poetic sense, it is clear use of narrative poetry with elements of rhyme, but specifically free verse. This form is good for the story element of the book and showcases the emotions.
A deep and delightful read that puts the reader into that most fascinating of emotions called love. A must read.

the book of teresa cover image
Posted in Book, Poetry, review

Soulful Of Me: A Poetry Book by Khyrin Z. Green

Soulful Of Me: A Poetry Book by Khyrin Z. Green

4 Stars

In the review of this poetry book, it is good to look at the future potential of the poet. Using the freeform poetry with a mix of rhyming couplets there is a simplicity to the structure of the poems. However, this would appear so to the untrained eye as there is an underlining depth to what the poet is observing.
This like so much of poetry is about what is being observed in the community and world. Despite being influenced by rap music, you do not get that hip-hop bounce. The pacing of the poems is much more considered with a sense of reflection.

The themes follow similar lines. Focusing on the community, issues facing black people and that common subject of love.
What makes this different is the ease of reading the poetry and that feeling the poetry can become more expansive with his poems. In particular, a wider vocabulary and more descriptive tone will greatly enhance his writing.
A particular interesting technique used is highlighting keywords in a poem in bold or underline to ensure the theme is kept in mind whilst reading. Thankfully, it does not feel like he is intentional holding the reader’s hand through the poems. It is more sense of directing your eye to the importance of what he is writing about.
Again I have to highlight how he handles some difficult subjects affecting the black community with a simple ease. Not to diminish the topic but in a strange way, the ease of writing it speaks volumes.
Such a subtle collection that shows much promise and development for a young poet. Certainly worth a read and a hope for future work.

Posted in Book, review

The Sandpiper’s Spell by Tom Pearson

The Sandpiper’s Spell by Tom Pearson

4 Stars

This poetry collection is very much a journey interweaving different backdrops with themes close to the poet’s heart.

There is a mixture of poetic styles that help to maintain the steady flow of the collection. The narrative style is the strongest feel with poems often describing a scene. The poet’s theatrical background plays into this style and he refers to productions in his work.

The free-form poetry works well with other elements of vignettes and haiku type poems.
There is an overall theme of coming back to an ancient city that is the focus and mystery in the collection. This continuation provides intrigue and it naturally reaches a closure.

Like most poets, observation is key for source material. The collection often has the poet seeing a scene and translating it into poetic verse.  This makes you follow the words and images closely to see where you will be taken.

This makes this a good poetry collection that should satisfy the vision it is making you see.

Posted in Book, review

Tiny Footcrunch by David Wasserman

Tiny Footcrunch by David Wasserman

4 Stars

This debut short poetry collection feeds on human emotions/feelings to create minute scenes and mantras. With themes ranging from love to confusion. In each section is a mixture of different short poetry styles and often the poems lead on to each other like a narrative.

Being a difficult format to create and form a collection. The poet does well in using the limitations of the style to give pause for thought. This is done using clever wordplay that does not reach the borderline of being too clever for its own good.

Moments of scenes and metaphors are used to give a subtle hint for the reader to reflect. With the ease to remember each poem, it takes on that mantra format that continues the thinking process.

There are a gentleness and simple pacing to the collection that makes it an enjoyable. When the poet captures a scene with good imagery the poems shine and continuing to focus on this will make future work even better.

The beauty of short poetry styles is in how it opens the imagination and this collection goes some way to show it.

Posted in Book, Poetry, review

Renaissance of the Psyche by Melica Niccole

Renaissance of the Psyche by Melica Niccole

3 Stars

The poet’s attempts to look back and pay homage is admirable in this collection. However, the change in pacing to her previous work dilutes the impact of her poetry. Her autobiographical emotional content drives a passion that is a loss in this collection.

There is a mixture of content. Ranging from poems of love, odes to famous poets/stars, abstract muses and reworking of songs. The beginning is a little disjointed that upsets the important early flow of a poetry collection.

However, this improves as the poet’s natural talent shines through. ‘Omen’ is a particularly powerful emotionally intense poem that leaves you stunned in its excellence.

Another great poem is Mind that plays with scientific and cultural idioms with an intriguing effect. In reflection, this is similar to the experimental collection poet’s attempt to see what material sticks well to evolve further.

With this potentially being the case, it emphasizes the strengths of the poet well and something I hope she continues to explore in future collections. Overall for fans of the poet’s work, it is interesting to see the diversity of topics. For new readers, there is enough here to want to review her previous work. Though there is that feeling this could have been much more with a tighter theme to connect the poems.

Posted in Book, Poetry, review

The Journey to the Truth by Melica Niccole

The Journey to the Truth by Melica Niccole

4 Stars

The title in its simplicity portrays the angst and drive that author is drawing to enlighten the reader. There is a large melancholy beneath the writing about some of the tragedies of life and largely at what some men do to women.

Without a sense of being graphic, this is a case of standing up to domestic abuse and cheating lovers by using verse. The beginning of the poetry collection starts with what she is seeking and warranted attitudes. It is a good set-up to then highlight unwarranted characteristics and the impact abuse does to the soul.

The final poem is fittingly called ‘The choices we make’ and that is subject that flows throughout the book. Showing the universal feature of cause and impact. With the lasting impact being harrowing in most cases, the author brings you into that scene.

The poetry is free verse with a narrator tone to highlight these struggles. In particular focusing on the power of words in abuse. A powerful piece of work that is recommended to ensure abuse does not stay silent.

Posted in Book, review

Celebrity by Melinda De Ross

Celebrity by Melinda De Ross

4 Stars

There is a lot going on in this book, which mimics what must be the hectic life of being a celebrity. There are many mini-plots and concepts thrown into the story that you can sometimes feel lost. Hoping for an added plot to be more developed. However, this is an interesting romantic story that also explores celebrity life.

In a funny way, it goes into the logistics of being granted instant fame. With a detailed analysis of the tedium of buying a home, shopping and having to keep engagements.

The two main characters are Kendra and Blake. Kendra is thrust into fame and has that atypical naivety. Blake is your all American movie actor with charm and sex appeal. This alone should draw out the story for you, for those avid romance readers.

As always, such books rely on the writing and allowing you to imagine yourself in the story. More so than her other books, this story has less of the sentimentality and laughs. Being more intrigued by the hustle and bustle of celebrity laugh. Making it more like a drama at times.

The author maintains her talent for writing in a real conversational manner that places you in the scene. The story links to her other book ‘The Diary’ though this gets touched upon and sent to the background quite quickly. Whether it was needed is hard to say.

The story does lend itself to drawing you into creating your own narrative. With many mini-plots and observations, you can dream up new stories different from what the author intended. It is quite an interesting feeling while reading and not something I have felt in regular books.

Whether this is down to the author knowing her craft too well and leaving narrative clues for you to explore or it simply being areas of weakness is hard to fathom.

Overall you will be taken on a ride into the most marveled area of today’s culture. Like so many people you can also dream and make up your own story of living in this life.

Posted in Book, Poetry, review

Masterpiece in Your Heart by S Sulianah

Masterpiece in Your Heart by S Sulianah

4 Stars

This poetry collection follows that popular theme amongst poets that is love. This handled with a sense of refinement and polish by the author. With a well-designed book format that is vibrant and appealing.

The length and pacing of the collection are perfect for what the poet wishes to share. Interestingly there are poems tailored onto popular songs by a well-known artist. The poems use a free verse and non-rhyming style.

Moving onto the real beauty of the collection, which is in the writing. The poet captures scenes and moments then explores them in poetry. It has a magical feel of transporting you into that moment, which for the theme of love is essential.

There is a slow build-up to the key sentiment of the poem and then you basked in it before it gently ends. The poet is clearly at home with this style and uses it continuously throughout the collection.

The poet is clearly the narrator giving you a touch of sentimental scenes. There are slight deviations from the theme of love with a look at friendship towards the end of the collection. However, it can be argued friendship is a form of love as well.

Overall a delightful collection that is well put together and transports you to those most moving moments in life.