Official Review: Potpourri, Don't Call it Poetry

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ElizaBeth Adams
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Official Review: Potpourri, Don't Call it Poetry

Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 19 Jun 2019, 11:17

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Potpourri, Don't Call it Poetry" by Rosalyn Rita Nicholas.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Potpourri: Don’t Call it Poetry, by Rosalyn Rita Nicholas, begins by quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1 from the King James Version of the Bible. It states, “To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Nicholas then proceeds to present her collection of poetry, grouped by different themes or seasons of life. In her introduction, she bravely admits that her poetry may not hit the standard set by poetry experts. She is content that it hits her standard of being honest and authentic. This is why she chooses to call her poetry “potpourri.”

The themes included were faith, liberty, youth, women, men, love, marriage, children, death, parents, friends, life, time, loneliness, and cynicism. The poems were varied in length, each capturing either reflections about different topics or significant moments in her own life or other’s lives. Her informal style was soothing. Her reflections and conclusions were deep. One of my favorite reflections was found in the section about faith. In a piece that is almost a prayer to God, the poem “Tribute” states, “I regret my gift’s so very small / But, alas, my self is all I have.” The author reveals the diversity of her skills by including different literary devices and styles. “As I Stood” uses alliteration, as it is densely saturated with words using the s sound. In “Revenge,” the author chooses to write the word depthless vertically, one letter per line, adding a visual component to the description of how incalculably deep the ocean is.

During the commercial breaks of a hockey game, I was just beginning to read this collection of poems when the call came. You’ve probably experienced similar calls, or, unfortunately, you probably will. The call was about a family emergency, an emergency that ended with the sudden death of a family member. The precious person who died was a cousin of mine. He was a forty-year-old husband, father, grandson, son, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend.

Afterwards, it took me awhile to come back to this collection. I reviewed another book in the meantime. I just couldn’t read someone else’s heartfelt reflections, because my own emotions were still too raw. When I did finish reading this book, I found myself appreciating the author’s willingness to capture so many personal moments of her own life with words and then share those words with others. I believe I appreciated it all the more because of the recent tragedy our family had faced. The author’s vulnerability is my favorite part of this book. She explores her own heartbreak during her quest for love, intimate thoughts and feelings about her relationship with her parents, and intense emotion-provoking scenes of death. Her vulnerability is accentuated by the span of time that is covered. The growth in the maturity of the author is painted by the poems, as she wrote them over many years. Her transparency aided me in my own grieving process.

This book appeared to be professionally edited. I found only a few minor errors, some of which could be interpreted as intentional rule-breaking in the name of art. The only thing that I didn’t like is a matter of personal preference. In the poem, “Sounds,” the word sound is used repetitively for effect. Due to the longer length of the poem and the number of times this word was used, I found it a bit tedious to read. Otherwise, I have no complaints.

I award this book of “potpourri” 4 out of 4 stars. The minor errors were not enough of a problem to deduct a star. Nicholas has made writing poetry a lifelong endeavor. Her authenticity permeates her poetry and challenges the reader to do some reflecting of his or her own. I recommend this book to those who enjoy absorbing wisdom won through facing life’s good and bad terrain. As a word of caution, sensitive readers may want to skip the section on death, though some may find it cathartic.

******
Potpourri, Don't Call it Poetry
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Post by Helen_Combe » 22 Jun 2019, 03:54

Great review and I’m sorry for your loss.
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Post by kdstrack » 22 Jun 2019, 10:52

I admire the author's creative of writing her poetry while covering such a wide range of topics. I am glad that her poetry was able to comfort you in your time of sorrow.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 22 Jun 2019, 16:24

I admire the author's ability to convey vulnerability. I'm also glad the poetry was a source of comfort during your loss.

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Post by Kaylawallace523 » 24 Jun 2019, 22:55

First of all, I am very sorry for your loss.
Second, great review. As a natural writer of poetry (by this I mean, it spills out of me on accident), I am glad to see that some people still appreciate it. I was beginning to think it was a dead art.

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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 25 Jun 2019, 08:56

Helen_Combe wrote:
22 Jun 2019, 03:54
Great review and I’m sorry for your loss.
Thank you.

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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 25 Jun 2019, 08:57

kdstrack wrote:
22 Jun 2019, 10:52
I admire the author's creative of writing her poetry while covering such a wide range of topics. I am glad that her poetry was able to comfort you in your time of sorrow.
Thank you. I did find her poetry comforting.

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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 25 Jun 2019, 08:58

Cecilia_L wrote:
22 Jun 2019, 16:24
I admire the author's ability to convey vulnerability. I'm also glad the poetry was a source of comfort during your loss.
The author was brave. Thank you.

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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 25 Jun 2019, 09:00

Kaylawallace523 wrote:
24 Jun 2019, 22:55
First of all, I am very sorry for your loss.
Second, great review. As a natural writer of poetry (by this I mean, it spills out of me on accident), I am glad to see that some people still appreciate it. I was beginning to think it was a dead art.
Thank you. I think you would really appreciate this poet's informal style.

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Post by Dee_218 » 01 Jul 2019, 21:20

Amazing. I have been looking for another journey to explore and coming across this review has helped.
I have been shying away from poetry due to my own vulnerability. Thank you for the great review

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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 03 Jul 2019, 09:32

Dee_218 wrote:
01 Jul 2019, 21:20
Amazing. I have been looking for another journey to explore and coming across this review has helped.
I have been shying away from poetry due to my own vulnerability. Thank you for the great review
I hope this helps. I am sorry you are going through a vulnerable time. Thank you for sharing.

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Post by kelseydwf » 03 Jul 2019, 11:58

This sounds like a lovely collection of some of life's biggest themes. I love an author who is willing to be vulnerable with the world, and I am glad it comforted you during a time of loss and grief. Thank you for being vulnerable here, and for a touching review.
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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 05 Jul 2019, 07:23

kelseydwf wrote:
03 Jul 2019, 11:58
This sounds like a lovely collection of some of life's biggest themes. I love an author who is willing to be vulnerable with the world, and I am glad it comforted you during a time of loss and grief. Thank you for being vulnerable here, and for a touching review.
The author's poems truly do cover a lifetime of experiences. Thank you for stopping by. :tiphat:

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Post by nooregano » 08 Jul 2019, 22:07

I absolutely love the title of this book! This sounds clever and vulnerable, and sounds like the kind of poetry that draws you into its experiences instead of relaying things to you from up on its high horse. thank you for this review, ElizaBeth, and I'm glad you liked this book so much!
"I speak only one language, and it is not my own." - Jacques Derrida

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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 28 Jul 2019, 13:16

nooregano wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 22:07
I absolutely love the title of this book! This sounds clever and vulnerable, and sounds like the kind of poetry that draws you into its experiences instead of relaying things to you from up on its high horse. thank you for this review, ElizaBeth, and I'm glad you liked this book so much!
It does draw you into its experiences. No high horse at all. That is a good way to put it. Thank you for your comment.

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