Official Review: Raven Of Isfahan by Mahnaz badihian

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Raven Of Isfahan by Mahnaz badihian

Post by Cecilia_L » 01 Dec 2019, 10:56

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Raven Of Isfahan" by Mahnaz badihian.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Raven of Isfahan: Poems of War, Exile, and Love is a compilation of poignant poetry by Iranian-America artist and poet Mahnaz Badihian. While some of Badihian's poems have been published in previous anthologies, this is the first time they have been curated in a single volume. Badihian shares her perspective as a female immigrant in her collection that traverses themes of family, war, death, loss, memories, love, disillusionment, regret, joy, and nostalgia.

The collection is 108 pages, and it includes several poems that are a single stanza, including "Seeds," "Triangle," and "Silence." However, it is not a light read; whether she is expressing sorrow or joy, Badihian's writing style exudes passion. For instance, "Picture Frames" conveys a powerful statement about children who have lost their fathers due to the war or martyrdom. In "Pomegranate Tree," Badihian expresses sentiments regarding the sisterhood of women:

"There are women
who will carry all my pains
on their shoulders
who will walk with my legs
who will fall in love
with my heart
and enjoy the stars
with my eyes
who will write my poems
about love and wars.”

I particularly enjoy Badihian's use of figurative speech and imagery. She dedicates "Manghal," to her grandmother and lovingly describes memories of her grandmother's home: "imagining that house with an orchestra of grandmother's movements." "Apart" expresses sadness and heartbreak: "So I frame my heart in loneliness and hang it on the walls of sorrow, sorrow for all these human conflicts." I also appreciate Badihian's inclusion of notations to explain the meanings of certain words or places. For instance, a manghal is a metal tray that uses hot charcoal to brew tea.

On the other hand, I disliked the light font used in the PDF I read. It was sometimes difficult to read, and certain punctuation marks were barely visible. Perhaps it was a formatting issue, but there were also multiple random instances of words in a different bold type font. Fortunately, a font that was easier to read was used in the Amazon sample. Unfortunately, there were inconsistencies in punctuation that weren't corrected. Some poems weren't punctuated at all; others were inconsistently punctuated. Notwithstanding allowances for creative liberty, if three stanzas were punctuated, and the fourth stanza failed to end a sentence with a period, I counted it as an error.

Overall, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. However, with another round of editing, it has the potential for the highest rating. I recommend the book to readers who enjoy poignant poetry. It will appeal to readers from various countries. Regarding the use of profanity, the book contains the words "whore" and "faggot"; the connotations of these words are somewhat subjective. However, both words are used contextually despite the fact that the latter may be considered a homophobic slur. I will also caution sensitive readers regarding a few of the violent war references.

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Raven Of Isfahan
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Miller56
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Post by Miller56 » 03 Dec 2019, 13:45

Thanks for the review. I am not a big fan of poetry so I doubt that I would like this book.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 03 Dec 2019, 13:54

I know as much about poetry as I do about performing open-heart surgery on a platypus.
So, I'll take your word for it! Pity about the editing, and great review :)
You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
- Dr. Seuss

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Post by Cecilia_L » 03 Dec 2019, 15:29

Miller56 wrote:
03 Dec 2019, 13:45
Thanks for the review. I am not a big fan of poetry so I doubt that I would like this book.
I appreciate your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 03 Dec 2019, 15:29

Bianka Walter wrote:
03 Dec 2019, 13:54
I know as much about poetry as I do about performing open-heart surgery on a platypus.
So, I'll take your word for it! Pity about the editing, and great review :)
:lol2: Thank you, Bianka!

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Post by kandscreeley » 03 Dec 2019, 20:04

It sounds like the author has a lot to say and does so in an interesting and heartfelt way. Poetry just isn't for me, though. Thanks for your thoughts. It's a pleasure reading your review.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by Jay_D » 04 Dec 2019, 01:33

Very interesting, I usually have no qualms about bad editing when it comes to format/font, so I might give it a try :D Thank you for your review! :)

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Post by Ebuka okoro 29 » 04 Dec 2019, 02:46

The author has a lot to say and does so in an interesting and heartfelt way. Poetry just isn't for me, though. Thanks for your thoughts.The review seems interesting

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Post by Nkoo » 04 Dec 2019, 09:07

I enjoy reading poetry but not particularly that of war or any with a sad undertone. The author must have unburdened her mind by putting those words down in the form of poetry. I enjoyed reading your review!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Dec 2019, 10:36

kandscreeley wrote:
03 Dec 2019, 20:04
It sounds like the author has a lot to say and does so in an interesting and heartfelt way. Poetry just isn't for me, though. Thanks for your thoughts. It's a pleasure reading your review.
Thank you!

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Dec 2019, 10:37

Jay_D wrote:
04 Dec 2019, 01:33
Very interesting, I usually have no qualms about bad editing when it comes to format/font, so I might give it a try :D Thank you for your review! :)
Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Dec 2019, 10:39

Nkoo wrote:
04 Dec 2019, 09:07
I enjoy reading poetry but not particularly that of war or any with a sad undertone. The author must have unburdened her mind by putting those words down in the form of poetry. I enjoyed reading your review!
Thank you.

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Post by kdstrack » 04 Dec 2019, 15:57

The author's writing truly connects with the reader. The poem you included makes you feel like she knows you and can see right into your heart! I also appreciate the poignant poem about her grandmother. Did any of them move you to tears? They seem quite emotional! Thanks for the touching recommendation.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Dec 2019, 13:33

kdstrack wrote:
04 Dec 2019, 15:57
The author's writing truly connects with the reader. The poem you included makes you feel like she knows you and can see right into your heart! I also appreciate the poignant poem about her grandmother. Did any of them move you to tears? They seem quite emotional! Thanks for the touching recommendation.
It's interesting that you asked this--I was teary over the two you mentioned! Thanks for your comment.

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Post by kperm » 05 Dec 2019, 15:47

It's a pity that the book is not edited well. I enjoyed reading your review, but I will pass on the book. Poetry is not my favorite genre. Thank you for an honest review.

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