4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Anna-Maria Barbaro tugs at the strings of forbidden love and forces us to relish in the bounty of colorless desires that could never come to life. A heart that has never known love, a dangerously serpentine love, a love that is unruly, and a love that is unreturned and unrequited; all these are explored in this collection of 38 poems titled Words from a Spoken Darkness. This is a cluster of poems ladened with desires hidden away, unearthed, and unspoken. Each one is very much like the next, yet each one is a different story, a different yearning, and a different burn.
There is much to love about this book. Anna-Maria immerses her desires in tantalizing similes and metaphors, exploring raw desires in free-form verse. She breathes life into still objects in lines like "the hungry sky cries pink—Voyage." There is something incredibly familiar about the sentences strung together in this collection. The narrators of these poems are anonymous, so I take it that these are the poet's emotions and desires coming to play. Her tone is always calm, but each poem is filled with deep-seated longing and pain. The writer does not spare us her literal craft. I deeply connected with many of the poems.
My favourite poem in this collection would be "Although You Will Never Know." It bears an openness and truth that I so easily connect to. One of the many lines I deeply felt is, "However, if my mere ugliness is what you desire, then let me be a creature of nightmare, for you shall see me as a perfect dream." There is nothing about this book that I dislike. Each poem is a representation of hard work and genuine emotions, and since they are all free-form, one is not bound to read them with the narrowness and strictness that convention entails.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I have no reason to deduct a star because I have no dislikes. Also, on finding no apparent errors, I dare say that this book was exceptionally well-edited. This collection is relatively small-sized, although I recommend that readers take their time to digest and savor every line of every poem.
These poems force us to confront desires we are too afraid to express. What the reader chooses to do with them is for the reader to figure out. I recommend this book to people dealing with negative and dark emotions like rejection, grief, sadness, and depression. I believe you will find comfort in knowing that these emotions are not isolated to you alone and that there are so many people, or at least a poet, who can relate to your struggles.
Words From A Spoken Darkness
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon