Review: Appearances | When Words Discover

Title: Appearances

Author: Michael Collins

Publisher: Saddle Road Press

Publication Date: 2017

Genre: Contemporary Poetry

Rating: 4 Stars

Esse in Anima

We are each ourselves at the harbor:
Runners run, readers read, children play,

I wander within myself within
the world, nothing is even wrong

with the distant cars in their straight lines,
driving from lot to lot as people

walk between ducks who simply sit
in the sun – I have given my eyes

to deeply to the breeze this morning;
I nearly stepped on one of them

From how it looked, he would have let me.

Dear fellow Babblers,

I was recently sent Appearances by the author, Michael Collins in exchange for an honest review. This is a spiritually uplifting collection of poetry – not a genre I typically will review for, but I am so pleased with this small, yet harmonic book that I feel compelled to share it with my readers. The only sort of contemporary poetry I read is Lang Leav, so I was thrilled to discover Collins’ work. Where Leav’s appeal to nostalgia is directed to love and heartbreak, Collins’ brings nostalgia a step further in coalescing the heart with nature. Typically a Young Adult and Contemporary Fiction reviewer I was initially a bit skeptical going into contemporary poetry. *One day later*…. I’ve read and reread each poem over and over. These poems have touched my heart and have shown me the beauty and sadness that underlies time and it’s passing.

This collection is separated into five parts, compromising a total of 49 exquisite verses. I will not attempt an analysis into the nitty gritty of his work, but lets ust call his writing style a Romantic mixture of Wordsworth and Keats. Each poem brings together the human body to its surroundings, be it fog, the sea shore, or the forests as a means to appeal to man’s dependence on nature, its static position, as well as its changing with time and seasons.

It would seem that the narrator is on a path to self discovery and with each verse, seems to come closer to his purpose as he becomes increasingly aware of the world in which he exists. The poems grow increasingly intimate and sensual as Collins traverses a variety of human emotions by means of his contact with nature. The speaker goes below the artificial surface of appearances in what seems like and intervention, or shall we say, interaction with his mind, heart, spirit, memory – all elements of his very persona – as a means of seeking solace and bliss through the promising, ephemeral moments granted by the world which envelops him.

I was very impressed by the style and use of language in each of the poems. They were powerful, evocative and had an altogether cacophonous tone which made them at once thought provoking and mind blowing. Collins uses vivid imagery such as “fleshy snowflakes,” “orange framed in a tangerine haze,” and “sun dancing snow,” reflective of his observations and musings on the past. All distinct, what renders these descriptions similar is their non permanence. Snow does not last, horizons do not remain orange, snowflakes get carried away come spring. Time changes the world and what unites humanity to this world is the mere fact that time affects all, nothing beautiful is permanent, and nothing young remains young; all must decay, change, and undergo transformation, therefore uniting nature and man into a singular, solid world.

Collins tests and plays a lot with form. Some appear to follow similar to an Alexandrian or Shakespearean sonnet while others are more inventive and seem to be free verse. I believe I read each poem just about a dozen times, all in different tones, including different pauses as a means to differentiate its sound and how the reading process would affect my connection and emotional reaction to the poem. There were subtle changes with each reread and I’m planning to read it again soon; this collection really is, that beautiful, not good, but beautiful. The intricacies and fleeting moments which we give little to no regard to in our everyday life is delicately placed on the forefront of Collins’ vision. He scrutinizes and beautifully recreates the world which we know, but in more translucent color. These poems are heartfelt and give one a sense of awe and delicate bliss, something that seems to fade, change, and intensify with time.

I would encourage all readers, no matter one’s genre preference to read Appearances. I’m more of a Young Adult and Contemporary reader so believe me when I say that this collection has that sparking enchantment that every reader looks for. It’s crisp, fresh, and evokes the sensibilities in a way that could transform one’s perceptions of themselves, who they were, and who they will be. With several references alluding to the soul and multiple reminiscent standalone verses which turn the eye away from the self and towards the horizon Appearances is a stunning read. I’m extremely pleased and honored to have been given this copy from the author and will be looking for more of his writing in the nearby future – more to come!

Yours Truly,

(Book image credits go to Saddle Road Press)

One Lovely Blogger Award

Dear fellow Babblers,

We’re more than halfway through August. Summer is almost over and we ask ourselves: ALREADY? Yup, it’s a bummer. Most of my time has been spent reading and interning so I’m really not sure what the future holds for me at this point. I’ll still be lovey dovey with y’all here, of course. But I am indeed in quite the rut if I do say so myself. Maybe it’s time to just drop everything and put up a lemonade stand – perhaps that’ll get the inspiration rollin’ out.

Well enough of Señorita Delphine’s drab humor. Off to today’s nomination post. Abrazos and besitos go to the lovely duo Ashley & Sabrina over at 5171 Miles Book Blog for nominating me for One Lovely Blogger Award. These gals are adorbs and their blog is altogether quirky, fun, and always insightful. I insist that you follow them if you care any bit about my personal opinion (my opinion matters! Power to the people! – lol idk).  Continue reading “One Lovely Blogger Award”

Blogger Recognition Award

Dear fellow Babblers,

Well hey there my lovelies. What’s craka ‘lackin in your hood. Wanna hear about mine? You say no? Then why you reading this you dolt? Jkjk. But seriously, what gives ? Not much is happening here in Los Angeles other than the news I’ve just received over at Twitter. Ready for this? The hottie tottie author of They Both Die at the End, Adam Silvera, is going to be on tour at The Grove on September 8th. I am so stoked to see this man in person – oh yeah, buy the book too *wink * wink * Give me them digits Adam).

Any-whooz-it I’m here as nominee of the Blogger Recognition Award. My nominator: Laura Beth at Hot Shot Headlines. I just met her a couple weeks here on wordpress and I’m sure glad that I did as she is not only an amazing writer and blogger, but such a delight to babble with. On her blog you can find a number of book reviews, chats, as well as writing updates – I swear this gal is haulin’ mules on her blog – I’m so jealous, is that obvious yet? If you haven’t yet followed her then allow me to wag the naughty finger at you as you are missing out on some very insightful and fun and beautifully written posts.  Continue reading “Blogger Recognition Award”

Blogger Aesthetic Award/Tag

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’m about to provide y’all with an inside peak into my aesthetically dysfunctional mind. Beautiful Bella over at Bella Blogs Because Books has nominated this chica for the Blogger Aesthetic Award. Now if we are talkin’ pretty and altogether amazing when we define aesthetic then I highly recommend (like, guys you don’t have a choice here) you visit her blog. Her creative blog theme is both charming and always a pleasure to visit. On her directory page you’ll find a variety of new releases and reviews from the Young Adult genre, which, I don’t know about you, is one of the funnest genres to read reviews of. Anyway there is no one or few words to describe my so called “aesthetic” but I will nonetheless give this thingy a go just cause it seems fun and gives me an excuse to feel productive as I lay scrunched up in bed for five ours scrolling through Tumblr and Pinterest. Continue reading “Blogger Aesthetic Award/Tag”

The Sunshine Blogger Award | 3

Dear fellow Babblers,

I return for another round of cynical questionnaires, also know as Sunshine Blogger part 3 brought to you by our very own James @thisismytruthnow. Thank you James for this nomination and for all y’all who haven’t yet clicked on his page I shake my tail feathers at you in disgust – how dare you even read this very line without first visiting James blog! You call yourself a bibliophile? A book reviewer? A book blogger? Again, I look down on you with utter contempt. You are not a book anything until you have visited this blog for some of the best book recommendations, memes, tags, awards, and even some wonderfully creative stories written by the blogger himself!  Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award | 3”

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why | 13 Moments Leading Up to One Timely Suicide

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: June 14, 2011

Rating: 4 Stars


” For the longest time, from almost day one at this school, it seemed that I was the only one who cared about me.

Put all of your heart into getting that first kiss…only to have it thrown back in your face.
Have the only two people you truly trust turn against you. Have one of them use you to get back at the other, and then be accused of betrayal.”

Dear fellow Babblers,

Tell me: is it possible that a single stack of pages onto which patterns of letters, forming fluid and meaningful sentences, could be capable of touching my heart in a way that not even a person has ever managed to accomplish before? This is exactly how I feel upon finishing 13 Reasons Why. From beginning to end of this raw, perhaps romanticized, novel about a victimized girl, Hannah Baker, recounting the 13 individuals who, in one way or another, served as catalyst for her fatal decision, my throat was in knots and tears were on the verge of flooding my eyes. And let me tell you why…  Continue reading “Review: Thirteen Reasons Why | 13 Moments Leading Up to One Timely Suicide”

The Sunshine Blogger Award | 2

Dear fellow Babblers,

Okay. Tell me how in Homer’s jelly doughnut stratosphere this is possible…. Delphine wakes up, spends hours cruising through social media and making new book buddies in God knows what country, island, box. She comments, plans posts, thinks about posts, and reads. And yet here Delphine is to tell y’all “I’M BEHIND!” Time has not been on my side lately and if I have not responded to some fellow babblers comments (as if any of you care, I know you just want me to pay attention to your blog and click that blue glowing “follow” icon) I deeply and from the bottom of my swiss cheesy little heart apologize!

So here I am, after a pillow scream, chips ahoy cookie binge, and cat cuddle session later to provide you with Sunshine Blogger Award take 2! I love the book blogging community for all this fun and meaningless opportunities to learn more about the pretty (or perhaps not so pretty) little faces behind every blogging account. One of my best friends that I’ve managed to make in the short time I’ve been blogging, Noriko at diaryofabookfiend has nominated me for this award. She has been a pleasure to get to know and her posts and comments (she’s one hell of an active blogger *phew* – lemme catch my breath here!) are so charming and a delight to read every time. Wait… Could it be that you, Noriko, are the reason I’ve fallen behind?!?! Yes, her posts are that good kiddos so if you think you know what an amazing book review is stick your head in a toilet and get off your high horse, visit her blog, and only then are you allowed to return for a babble with Señorita Delphine…  Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award | 2”

The Sunshine Blogger Award | 1

sunshine

Dear fellow Babblers,

Jee golly whoot whoot! Two months blogging and I’m hauling mules through these awards. I’m sure y’all are pretty down in the dumps bored about falling into the nitty gritty about my meaninglessly banal life, but, I mean, complain to my fellow babbling nominators!

horray.gif

To express the happiness I feel this time around allow us to compare it to a bright fart of sunlight shining upon my frizzy head of curly hair as I skip through meadows of rainbows and daisies…. Thank you so much to my pretty chica Melanie over at MNBernardBooks for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award – I”m definitely feelin’ the warmth of our toasty summer here now! Don’t be a lazy tushy and breeze through this post without visiting Melanie’s blog for some of the best book reviews and even writing that the infinite blogosphere has to offer… and you’re welcome fellow bloggers for my introducing you to her amazing site.  Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award | 1”