4 out of 4 stars
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Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, by Gabriela Marie Milton, is a beautiful book that talks mainly of love and its infinite ways of touching each one of us. It also depicts the true depth of human relationships and emotions, how passion can be malleable, intense, and sometimes difficult to understand completely. What I think is one of the greatest achievements of this book is the diversity it has when it comes to writing: love poems, prose poems, flash fictions, and poems translated in Italian.
The poems are brief, carrying such perceptive and sensorial imagery that they give off the impression of being constantly and infinitely expanding themselves to the universe. They talk about love and how wonderful it is, but also about the disagreements and complexities that come with it. Each poem unfolds different scenery with its very own landscape and emotions. It offers a full repertoire of sensations to explore with all the human senses. The reader will be able to smell, touch, see, taste, and hear everything that the poem narrates, transforming the reading into a unique experience. “Those roses which die in the winter/played the piano last night/a whirlpool of notes and of poems/inscribed on a wall painted in blue” (p.26) Reading these lines, it feels as if you were immersed on them, surrounded by those roses and the whirlpool of notes and poems. Closer to the end of the book you have the Prose Poems and Flash Fiction. These are short stories written in poetic prose, which is a hybrid genre of writing that mixes the attributes and structures of both prose and poetry, meaning you can find short stories divided into brief paragraphs or separated into lines on the page, which is the process known as lineation, used when writing poetry. The stories narrated in these sections address issues like the strength of character, loneliness, obsession, love, family, and every little thing that comes with human relationships. It is exceptionally and beautifully written and it completely captivates the reader and makes him feel the same way the poet does.
The poems and the flash fiction are highly aesthetic, sometimes even rhythmical, and its unique quality is the ambiguity that they offer. It is poetry that suggests multiple interpretations of the words that it uses, and by doing this, it evokes a lot of emotive responses from the reader. Apart from the main topic that the poems address, which is love, they also have abundant cultural references. For example, when Astraea is named, which is a goddess from Greek mythology, or the Guadalquivir which is a Spanish river, or even García Lorca, a famous poet. The writer of this book uses symbolism, alliteration, and other figures of speech such as metaphor, metonymy or simile brilliantly and intellectually. She creates a complex yet excellent layering of meanings, forming connections between the verses that were not previously perceived, and it also establishes a resonance or even similarity between images that may seem disparate when you first read them. It is a wonderful book to read if you are interested in a kind of poetry with universal meaning and value.
I recommend this book to poetry lovers who are looking for a kind of poetry that mixes all kinds of different elements, creating a new way of perceiving love. In this book, love can be found everywhere: on the trees or the river, in the soul or inner self, in the scary darkness, in every city of the world. The poems that this book offers are wonderful because they can show the complexity of love and its many branches. I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who has just started reading poetry because he may find it hard to discover the underlying connections between the verses or understand the very complex and advanced lexicon this poetry has.
I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars because, on the one hand, it is evident that it was professionally edited, with no spelling mistakes whatsoever or errors in the typing. On the other hand, the one I consider the most important aspect of the book, is that it represents the essence of poetry with its characteristic sensitiveness and diverse, heartfelt meanings. Gabriela Marie Milton proves to be an impressive, very intelligent, sensitive, and perceptive writer and without her, this book wouldn’t be what it is now: a beautiful, creative and unique book.
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings
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