Official Review: This is not for us by Arushi Singh

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Ashley Simon
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Official Review: This is not for us by Arushi Singh

Post by Ashley Simon » 21 Nov 2017, 10:06

[Following is an official review of "This is not for us" by Arushi Singh.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Arushi Singh’s poetry collection This is not for us ~ and all the things they tell you covers a wide range of topics, from abuse to love to war to poverty to family ties. The poems address universal, relevant topics, yet the author’s concentration on his own physicality, emotions, and experiences imbue the collection with a deeply personal tone. Poems like “Untitled” offer a meta-commentary on the nature of rhyming. In “Everything I Wanted”, the narrator gives a list of all the things he left unsaid, presumably to a lover, before sinking back into silence. In “#mentoo”, the author gives a heart wrenching description of his childhood abuse, and the hashtag offers a commentary on how men are often silenced in the discussion on rape.

The PDF version that I read was 67 pages long, and it was made up primarily of one page poems. A few longer ones spanned two or three pages. Due to their brevity and poignant one-liners, many of the poems reminded me of the notepad poetry you can find all over Instagram and Pinterest. For example, in “With My Eyes”, the author reflects on the cost of holding on to his dreams: “who knew the price/of dreaming/was losing my hold on reality” (page 26).

Much of Singh’s poetry centers around themes of physicality, suffering, and the body. In “Waltz #2”, he reflects: “dance is the/denial/of the body/the refusal to suffer” (page 16). Even in poems like “Syria”, a poem that paints a vivid picture of a war torn country, the author maintains a focus on his own personal, bodily experience. I enjoyed this element. I tried to find out who the author is and what inspired him (or her, though I believe it is a male) to write this collection. There is no record (or if one, very little) of the poet Arushi Singh online, and nothing whatsoever about the book.

This leads me to my one qualm with this collection. I wished for a bit more context and coherence. Though the poems were enjoyable, I don’t think I would have picked up this book if I was not reviewing it. Even if I did pick it up, I don’t think I would have kept coming back to it. I enjoyed each poem as I read it, but without a larger context to put it in, I felt like I was consuming empty calories. Reading the book was enjoyable, but the poems felt scattered. Because they cover such a wide range of themes, I had a hard time picking one to resonate with.

Still, if poetry is meant to be felt, then this collection certainly does its job. Readers who are looking for a short yet moving collection of modern poems will certainly find this collection enjoyable. There were a few errors. In “Strand” on page 15, the word “face” is spelled “fac”. In “Quote” on page 20, there’s a phrase that reads “springs soft dust” when the word “spring” should have an apostrophe. Aside from that, I noticed few errors, and the ones that did exist were not (in my mind) glaring enough to detract from my enjoyment of the work.

Because I believe the personal nature of these poems will endear them to readers, I am giving This is not for us 4 out of 4 stars. Lovers of poetry will certainly appreciate Arushi Singh's unique musings on the nature of the world.

This is not for us
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Ivy Davie
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Post by Ivy Davie » 22 Nov 2017, 13:01

Very moving. Enjoyable. Interesting

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 22 Nov 2017, 16:34

As a lover of poetry, I'm impressed with your review. I like that it spans a range of topics while maintaining the author's voice and identity.
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Post by kandscreeley » 22 Nov 2017, 17:07

Poetry seems to be so individual. It's harder to hear those than regular books if you ask me. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Yazan saadeddin » 23 Nov 2017, 21:26

Love it .

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Post by thebookextravaganza » 24 Nov 2017, 06:53

Thank you for such extensive and informative review. The topics that the author covers are definitely interesting and I can see myself diving into the book, I am drawn to male perspective on violence and abuse since it often gets buried in the sheer vastness of the female experience of it. Which makes me wonder about the author as well. It's such a pity there isn't much information about them, however let's hope that it won't be for long till they establish themselves as a seasoned name and come out with a next piece of work. Once again, great review :)

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Post by Adedola » 24 Nov 2017, 08:51

Thank you for the informative review. The topics that the author covers are definitely interesting and I can see myself reading the book, I'm interested in finding out the author's thoughts about the male perspective on violence and abuse since it often gets overlooked in the sheer vastness of the female experience of it.

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Post by Hastier777 » 25 Nov 2017, 05:14

i love it!

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Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 27 Nov 2017, 05:40

Might have to pass on this one. I like poetry but when it starts being compared to the stuff on Pinterest I start losing interest. Also, just to be nitpicky, unless you are British (and if you are, please ignore), the comma goes inside the quotation mark, always. Good review!

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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 30 Nov 2017, 09:25

Thank you for your review. As someone who loves poetry, I like it when it covers a range of topics rather than restricted to one topic only. Another poetry book to add to my to-be-read list.
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Post by izhay » 30 Nov 2017, 12:41

very interesting . .so much fun to read this very relating

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Post by Uinto » 01 Dec 2017, 01:56

I like the heart-felt poetry and the compelling way the author drives his point home. The range of the poems covering a wide topic is also laudable.

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Post by Noella Kimbi » 14 Dec 2017, 02:25

thank you for this review. it helps me out with a review i'm working on. i love your choise of words and sentence construction. you really do sound like you know exactly what you are doing. just reading the review, i feel like reading the book already.
Thanks again.

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