Overcast Mind: My Life in Poems by Ann Christine Tabaka

4/10

I think I’ve shared my feelings on poetry before (i.e., it’s like swimming), so I’ll cut to the chase: this particular collection was not to my taste.

The collection is arranged in chronological order, so there is an interesting progression thorough different seasons in the “adult” sections. That being said, since the poems are in this order, and range over several decades, you’d hope that some sort of development would occur in subject and style. This is not what occurs, but instead the author seems to fix on the same subjects over and over, and she writes about them the same way over and over. There is a bit more angst in the “teenage” years, but even that is muted, and it ends quickly.

And while it was refreshing to read poetry by a poet that doesn’t feel the need

to

write

like

this,

the author still felt the need to rhyme almost every line, and it was often very forced. Not all poetry needs to rhyme! And, if you are going to rhyme every line, and you write seven poems about autumn leaves, maybe switch it up? One more leaf/grief pair would have been eight too many, in my opinion.

When all is said and done, I received this book for free, so I read the whole thing. And there is some good stuff (a few lines stood out to me, and some of the imagery was pretty), it was just buried in among things off which I wasn’t a fan.

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