Official Review: The Poems of Robin R Rabii

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Official Review: The Poems of Robin R Rabii

Post by L_Therese » 27 Jul 2016, 20:00

[Following is the official review of "The Poems of Robin R Rabii" by Robin R Rabii.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Poems of Robin R. Rabii by Robin R. Rabii is a poetry collection that is simultaneously varied and unified. The central theme of this collection is connection, and it is expressed in a myriad of ways. Sometimes a poem shows the connection between two lovers; sometimes it shows the connection between a person and his/her nation. One of my favorites lines displays connection crossing a tough division: “I kissed a conservative today, and she kissed me liberally!” Many poems expose disconnection to highlight the need for a better alternative. These poems might show racial divisions, religious conflicts, war, or abuse of the environment. Whether showcased or strikingly absent, the theme is apparent in each and every poem.

In addition to being varied in how they present the theme, the poems in this collection seemed quite varied in style. Some rhymed or followed familiar rhythm patterns, and some were free verse. A few switched styles mid-poem. One of the things I love most about poetry is that it derives its power from not only what a poet says but also how he/she says it. When a poem’s style and tone start changing, I start asking myself whether such is deliberate or the author is merely confused or distracted. There are a few poems in this collection that, even though they show excellent artistry at times, feel distracted overall. It is as if multiple poems were mashed together to create a single poem that loses focus and lasts for pages and pages.

Like any excellent poet, Robin R. Rabii’s collection demands that the reader thinks about difficult subjects. The author does not shy away from topics like racism, homosexuality, religion, and sex. They are addressed frankly and powerfully, and the manner of address is often unexpected. In one poem, a metaphor of war is used to view parental love (and the sacrifices entailed therein). In another, plumbing is used to explain neighborly love. In a third, violent assault is the metaphor for humanity’s relationship to the environment. The unexpected metaphor is one of poetry’s most valuable tools to help readers see the world in new ways, and Robin Rabii uses it masterfully.

Regardless of the quality of the poems themselves, a long-winded preface and introduction really turned me off to the book before I even encountered the real meat of it. These beginning soliloquies were extremely wordy and far too long. Once I reached the end of the preface and found an introduction waiting for me, I questioned whether I even wanted to continue on to the poetry at all.

As I considered the rating and recommendation, I weighed the excellence of individual poems against the failings of the few that lost their impact by being too long and out of focus. I also had to consider the presence of sex and violence (tasteful, but possibly unsuitable for children). In the end, I’ve decided to rate The Poems of Robin R. Rabii 3 out of 4 stars. Any mature poetry lover might enjoy at least some of these poems, and even if you have to pick and choose, the majority of the poems in this collection are well worth reading.

The Poems of Robin R Rabii
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Post by Cee-Jay Aurinko » 03 Aug 2016, 12:46

Very well written review, L_Therese! As I'm writing this I'm about to write a review for a poetry book myself. This is a great review to use as an example.
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Post by L_Therese » 03 Aug 2016, 18:16

Thanks Cee-Jay Aurinko! I struggle with poetry reviews sometimes, so affirmation is GREATLY appreciated!

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Post by mratdegraff91 » 10 Aug 2016, 20:42

Thank you for your review L_Therese. I am expanding my personal reading choices by delving more into poetry. This seems like it might have some interesting poems in it from what I read in your review. Your review is very well written and I will be looking into this book. Thanks again. :D
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Post by Loverockers » 18 Aug 2016, 16:51

Quite a well written review!

I'm writing a poetry collection's review, so your amazing one has given me lots of inspiration and guidance.

Good work =)

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Post by AA1495 » 15 Sep 2016, 19:57

Thank you for your review. I don't read too much poetry but am looking for some good ones now:D

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Post by gali » 01 Jun 2017, 06:10

Not my cup of tea, but is sounds like a good collection of poems. It is nice that the poems not only varied in how they present the theme, but also varied in style. I am glad you enjoy them despite the stormy start. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Gravy » 01 Jun 2017, 06:46

This actually sounds quite interesting, but I tend to be put off by long prefaces and introductions as well. Especially when sampling the book, I want to get an idea of what I would be getting out of it.

Thank you for a very informative review.
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Post by GCamer » 01 Jun 2017, 07:44

I just checked the sample from Amazon and I was slightly turned off by the lengthy preface. But after reading your review, I think there are some interesting poems in the book. Thanks for the honest review.

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Post by MarisaRose » 01 Jun 2017, 08:51

Poetry collections are often difficult reads for me. I find it is really difficult for a collection to be completely successful. It seems like this collection also fails to be successful in all accounts. I do think this collection may be worth reading for those that stand out though. I'm glad the author tackles difficult subjects with her work!
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Post by hsimone » 01 Jun 2017, 08:53

A set of poems that make you think about difficult subjects sounds intriguing. I'm curious about how this book gives insight in nurturing connection between people and things. Too bad about the long introduction and preface. I can see how this could be off-putting. Thank you for the insightful review!
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Post by jimthorne2 » 01 Jun 2017, 08:59

The review is as good as the book. I'm not so sure about open-mindedness but guess that it is necessary for a poet.
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Post by kandscreeley » 01 Jun 2017, 09:06

Other than the preface this sounds like a great book of poetry covering a variety of controversial topics. I'm not much into poetry myself, but it sounds good if that is your thing. Thanks for the review.
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Post by godreaujea » 01 Jun 2017, 09:25

Wonderful, thoughtful review! Some of the poems sound like they really had an impact on you. Congrats to the author for making BOTD!

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Post by jemgirl202 » 01 Jun 2017, 09:34

Excellent Review! The poetry sounds very thought provoking! I am interested in the points the author makes about important topics within the poetry. Great job!

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