Review: Shadows of Life: A collection of poetry by Nazreen

Title: Shadows of Life: A collection of Poetry 34127816

Poet: Nazreen

“The Shadows of Life are emotions; the thoughts, desires, and aspirations trailing in our wake.” – Nazreen

***

I received a free e-copy of the poetry collection via the author in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not usually a poetry reader, at least, not beyond what they assign in my English major courses. However, I was extra curious what was in store for me when Nazreen contacted me to review her poetry collection. Poetry is such a personal form of art, and is so open for interpretation that I was eager to see what Nazreen had in store.

I was met with a passionate, diverse collection of verses in Nazreen’s Shadows of Life. From the first poem, Nazreen entices audiences with such a special and unique expression of our shared universal experience. She writes of it in a way that is both utterly complex yet refreshingly simple.

This was what I adored about Nazreen’s collection–it’s relevance and adaptability. Somehow while I was reading, each poem opened up a slew of my own memories for me to reflect and analyze. Nazreen’s poetic vulnerability challenges readers to place themselves within the work and the words. The “I” Nazreen regarded was not just her, but myself as well.

Shadows of Life delves into readers’ own thoughts and experiences, through Nazreen’s constant parallels of her life experience to that of others. The collection’s opening states, “The words in it will resonate with the reader’s own voice, rendering life to the untold stories carried within”, which could not be more true.

The poems range in theme and style, from from short single stanzas to longer laments, about love, heartbreak, memories, dreams, and so much more.

Many of my favorites and the most impactful poems for me lie at the beginning of the collection. While some of the poems I read really struck me, some didn’t resonate as much–which is completely understandable from my point of view when discussing poetry.

In the interest of not leaving you with a full 10-page essay, here’s an overview of a few of my favorites:

The self-doubt and insecurity expressed in “Appearances” is so raw. The way the speaker addresses their own fears in comparison to the lover’s confidence is a theme that exists in many relationships, particularly at the beginning.

My own uncertainty about reality versus the simplicity of my dreams is represented in “Dreamworld”. There’s something so comforting about others experiencing the same anxieties and realizations as you, and this poem made me feel so harmonious with Nazreen’s poetic intentions. I loved feeling that I could completely connect with the speaker.

“Search” left me empathetic and breathless. In all honesty, the poems that resonate the most with me are the simple ones. The bluntness of them astounds me. But I think the reason that I love them so much is how though provoking a small statement can be.

“Search” by Nazreen

How sad

It is

That I continue

To seek you

In all my

Loves.

How a poem a mere six lines long can open up so many doors for contemplation is what astounds me most. A million memories reappear with a tiny saying, while sometimes longer poems can leave me confused and disinterested. There’s no chance for confusing here. It packs a punch and left me thinking.

While I adored the entire first half of Shadows of Life, I didn’t feel quite as attached to second half. A fan of shorter poems, many of the poems and themes carried on too long for me. Also, I found myself constantly paying attention to the poems’ technical elements, like rhyme scheme, rather than its underlying meaning. As much as I appreciate poetic devices, sometimes I feel that they can distract, which is what I felt with some of Nazreen’s longer poems near the collection’s end. Also, some of the poems just didn’t strike a chord with me–which is understandable. As a whole, the collection is enjoyable and thought-provoking.

I was so happy to explore Shadows of Life. Overall, I’d give the collection as a whole 3.5 stars! It was great to gain some more exposure to poetry with such an eclectic, enjoyable mix of poems from Nazreen.

Thank you, Dr. Nazreen, for sending me a copy of your work!

Shadows of Life: A collection of poetry: 3.5/5 stars. 


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