True Cheese: Aida Bode

Morning little bloggers, I have been getting myself stuck into a number of different books recently, and it has been incredibly refreshing! It’s been a tough couple of months but I have really found myself looking to the future, and although now it is a little more uncertain than it was before I know that things have been getting better, which is making me feel incredibly positive. Additionally reading this book/collection of poems that I am reviewing here has been incredibly liberating. As it is only a short book this review will be a little bit shorter in length however just as detailed as always. Anyway enough of my warbling…onto the review

True Cheese is a collection of poetic wanderings about nature, self-search and love. Aida Bode brings a unique perspective on such “cheesy” subjects and eliminates the clichés and the ordinary outlook of these elements that enrich our daily lives. This lovely little book of what I assume you would class as poems takes another look at the tasteless clichés of life and adds a little perspective on them! Poems include themes that range from love and devotion, to sadness, the world, and the idea of an eternity. Each poem, however, has a little sarcastic twist that really makes you think about the sayings that we use all the time to explain our love or hope or joy. The book doesn’t take a negative stance, but instead looks more deeply into the lines that spin to try and explain our feelings. The only thing I found a little insufferable about the book was the title. The title ‘true cheese,’ really put me off the book; it was only after finding it squished in the middle of another pile of books that I sat myself down and forced myself to read. On reading the first page I was finding it hard not to smile, and I sat a devoured the whole book in an evening; favourites include

 ‘In New York

Love wears a label

‘Made in China,’

 

and

 

They say that there is

A love relationship

Between the sun and the earth

How can I believe it

When at night

They’re both alone

Another, small problem I had, was that I would have liked the poems to have been a little longer. They are incredibly poignant and they make you think about the clichés that are told; however I would have liked a little more to get my teeth into and to gain my own interpretation of the words on the pages. Only a couple of the poems are more than a few lines long and I think it would have helped to put a few longer ones in to add contrast to the book. However it is a lovely little read and may make you think more about life’s clichés.

Thoughtfully Crafted Words: Amreen Bashir Shaikh

I was trying to think back to the last time that I really immersed myself in poetry and think it would have to be back at school; I remember toiling through reams and reams of text, trying to work out what the author was trying to communicate and reading them out loud to understand how they should be read and with what emphasis. Poetry spoke to me as a reader however I was never any good at writing it (unfortunately) and I am in awe of how easily it appears to come so naturally and beautifully to Amreen. I wasn’t sure what to expect when sitting down to read this however I am extremely happy that I have had the pleasure to be sent it! So thank you Amreen, and with no more time wasted, onto the review!

I loved these little poems; they are like little breaths of fresh air. Each targets a different feeling or situation. Take ‘Fall of Despair’ as an example. The poem is a beautiful collection of verses outlining someone pondering on the things that make the writer feel lost; the withering of their aspirations and their fall from grace through a tough situation and the way that it has completely changed their resolve and ultimately their confidence. Powerful eh? A real standout poem is the brilliant ‘Writer’s Block,’ it really manages to exude the feelings felt when you cannot let your mind unravel and allow the thoughts to become something on the page. One of the lines speaks, ‘as my fingers refuse to unbottle the array of thoughts evolving in my mind.’ For me this really spoke to me as a writer. So many times I have found myself unable to find the right words to convey something and yet I can feel them swelling in my mind. Another thing that I really loved was that the poems all contrasted, not only in subject but also in lengths. It was brilliant to be able to be drawn into a poem such as ‘The Tree’s Fidelity,’ that narrates the life of a tree and it’s ‘owner,’ and has a darker side to it than first imagined, to then a short and snappy poem such as ‘Forbidden Love,’ that is short and sweet (in length not content!) The movement between the lengths of poems not only keeps the interest of the reader and makes them want to carry on reading, but it also shows the depth of understanding of the author. I think that Amreen has really shown a sense of diversity and understanding of the different styles of different poems. I also liked the contrast between the poems that spoke of being downcast and morose to the sudden changes to sprightly and cheerful; it really helps to show a range of skills but also keeps the reader interested to very end. Brilliant!

Overall this is really beautiful of poems spanning a number of different scenarios, contexts, and subjects. It moves smoothly from subject to subject whilst narrating a number of different moods. It is also lovely to see that at the end the author has included a description of the techniques and types of poem used which helps the reader to understand the structure of each of the poems. This allows the reader to have a stronger understanding of what the author is trying to portray. Overall, this a lovely collation of poems that is overall a very fulfilling and inspiring read!

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Read to me

Read to me
by Jane Yolen

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes
Read to me stories of magical times
Read to me tales about castles and kings
Read to me stories of fabulous things
Read to me pirates and read to me knights
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then
When you are finished- please read them again.