4 out of 4 stars
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Days of Soup and Holler is a collection of poems and short personal essays by Liesl Garner. The collection is divided into five sections, based on different periods of the author’s life. The first section delves into her childhood. The second part contains pieces about the author’s married life. The third section is about her children and her experience with motherhood. The fourth section contains miscellaneous pieces that explore the author’s relationship with topics such as race, religion, and art. In the fifth and last part, the author takes us along on her writing journey by sharing poems that illustrate her relationship with “the page.”
Reading this collection has been an exquisite experience. As she puts it, Liesl Garner has “always had a vivid imagination, and a poet’s heart.” Through each poem, she seems to find and expose the beauty of everything, from a homeless man who associated her with a Modigliani painting to an after-work trip to the grocery store. Garner’s writing style is vivid and vibrant. Her verses are smooth and delicate, assembling beautifully into poems. Each piece seems to reveal an intimate part of the author’s soul, and she communicates her feelings and experiences candidly. While reading, I felt like each poem was tapping into my own emotions.
My favorite pieces in the collection are those about the author’s relationship with writing, which is her “spiritual practice” and “soul work.” She describes writing as something that helps her “view the world more poetically, more beautifully, more attentively” and “keeps dark thoughts from building up and becoming monsters.” Garner beautifully captures the unstoppable impulse to put thoughts to paper in order to make sense of the world, the people she comes across, and her own feelings. As someone who has been writing since I can remember, reading these poems warmed my heart and encouraged me to keep writing. I copied several verses from this collection to my journal, so that they can continue to guide me through my own journey with writing.
Days of Soup and Holler is professionally edited. I only came across a handful of errors that were not at all distracting. Furthermore, the collection facilitates a smooth reading experience by organizing the poems thematically.
There is nothing about Days of Soup and Holler by Liesl Garner that I did not appreciate. I loved each and every piece in this collection. I think it deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I warmly recommend this collection of poems to readers who love poetry and especially to young writers that are looking to deepen their relationship with writing.
Days of Soup and Holler
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