Thank you Elizabeth Merry for kindly sending me a copy of Minus One in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase a copy here on Amazon.
As the subtitle suggests this poetry collection follows the story of the poet’s life. The poet uses multiple forms of poetry to convey a reflective account on her life, featuring topics such as love, death and family.
This anthology follows many aspects of the poet’s life and each element is matched brilliantly to the poem form. I have to admit that I find haikus to be so difficult, in my opinion. Traditionally, they recollect and express a particular image within just three lines. With the overall theme of this collection being a recollection matches this use effectively and Merry easily conveys her ideas in the three lines given. Readers of poetry will delight in Merry’s ability to convey equal emotion that is expressed in the longer forms and free verse. With a poetry collection, I often find that readers can dip in and out but as soon as I read the first few of Merry’s, I knew I had to continue reading. The mixture of poetry forms helped solidify the reader’s involvement to Merry’s life as the pace presents an inviting atmosphere. This collection can be read quite quickly in one sitting. However, it could also be read in multiple instalments and continue to captivate the reader.
The poet includes images to accompany the haikus and this presented a visual aid to the poetry being read. I especially loved this choice as it further enforced an image being painted in my mind. The use of pictures was also aesthetically pleasing to the overall theme. I assume that the poet has taken the pictures herself and if so, this further conveys a personal experience. In particular the image of the loaf on the dining table. I found myself resonating with this image in particular. It felt very honest in conjunction with the haikus.
A lot of the themes included in the poems are very sensitively dealt with. There are references to suicide, alcohol and death. These are emotionally and powerfully presented within the poet’s collection. The pain of which are explored as well as juxtaposing memories. It is clear that special attention has been payed to creating these poems and every one will seep plentiful emotions. Merry’s dedication to creating a deeply personal and honest collection is evident throughout. Like life, the poems showcase various experiences and emotions, presenting happiness and sadness equally. A particular favourite of mine was ‘Almost Whole’, I really enjoyed the imagery being presented here.
Overall, this was a heartfelt collection of poems and I am very grateful to have received a copy. I appear to be giving 5 stars to almost all the poetry collections that I have reviewed, but I truly advocate the power that poetry can have. It is striking how emotionally involved all readers can get with reading poetry and how the power of interpretation is so important. I think that even if a poem does not obviously connect to the reader, multiple readings and different attainable features can be reached to establish a personal meaning.
Thank you for reading my review!