1 out of 4 stars
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Finding That Warmth in the Frosty Nights by Roshana Nazari Kirchhofer is a collection of sixty poems about the ups and downs of relationships, food, happiness and sadness, family, female power, health, being a mother, and being a nurse. Unfortunately, it's really not very good.
I love poetry but was wary when the Amazon sample was too short to show any of Roshana's poetry. Her own website didn't even tease any lines! Then I cracked the book open and realized why: every poem in this collection needs further refinement. There are countless forced rhymes, numerous lines that stretch on far too long, and well over a dozen grammatical errors.
This is a real shame as the author has a lot of potential. There were a couple of excellent lines in the book, and many of the concepts in the poems were terrific. For example, in "As If a Candle" is this line: "If you do not ignite me, / I cannot provide you with scent or light." This is so simple yet so powerful! Other poems come close to awesomeness but still need work. In "Proving Others Wrong," Roshana explains that she's a mermaid because she ate sushi and "you are what you eat," so she's concerned about driving home. "Desirable Poison" is the closest to excellence, and it's my favorite poem of the collection. Here, in merely six lines, she manages to explore just how badly love can hurt.
The majority of the book, though, is forgettable. "Play-Name" tries to be funny by telling men that if they don't understand women, they should use Google, but it's ruined by the forced end-rhymes. The title of "Be Polite, She Will Treat You with Light" is almost as long as the poem itself: "Use your mother's taught wisdom and don't call any woman: / Fat, pregnant, old, or even angry. Because even if we are, we really are not!" I understand that it's not good to insult anyone, sure, but the last sentence ruins it. Telling a woman that she's pregnant or angry doesn't pacify her or remove her baby. Finally, there are a few poems like "Anxiety" that are more like statements broken into individual lines to look like poems than actual poems.
I really wanted to like this book. I just wish that Finding That Warmth in the Frosty Nights was far more polished. My rating of the book is 1 out of 4 stars, although I'd give it a star and a half if I could. What kept me from rounding up to two stars instead of rounding down to one is simply that I would actively warn people against reading this book if they asked about it. With that said, I'll still be keeping an eye on Roshana's poetry in the future. She has the potential to be a remarkable poet!
Finding that Warmth in the Frosty Nights
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