Athena Marini’s book is filled with poems of positivity and empowerment and the expressive but simple line drawings that are included between the verses add something to the book, making it read like a reflective piece of art rather than just a book of the poet’s views.
The strength of Marini’s perspective permeates as she draws on her own experience to share her hopes and aspirations for the world that we live in. Obviously, this aims to be an inspirational work for those of you looking for moments of calm in the chaos and words of validation that all will be fine, no matter how bleak it appears right now. I think that, to a high degree, it achieves this. It is truly a collection for our times.
There are definite spiritual themes throughout as well as the idea that we are a small but important piece of a much bigger entity and that there is far more to us than just our physical manifestation.
Personally, I liked the feeling of these poems as I read them, like a balm of hopefulness, willing me on to a better mindset and calm. They are fluid, light on punctuation, varying in form and add a sense of gentleness and reconciliation for which, I believe, the poet is aiming, adding strength to her message.
There are poems that deal with the resolution of issues, like “Poor Me”, one of my favourites, which concerns itself with a maternal relationship; “Tied Down” discusses freedom through acceptance and “Denial” presents the idea that there is no peace in hiding from difficulties in denying them, rather that they must be confronted.
I also liked the poem that finishes the collection “To The Spirit of the Chicken Bird”, a damnation of the way that chickens and their eggs are farmed, delivered as an apology and as a bid for change.
There is no doubting the poet’s earnestness and belief in her outlook from the poems and as a reader, I get the feeling that these poems are working on two levels; they are cathartic for her in the writing of them, bringing clarity to her thinking but also that there is a hope that, in their sharing, you too will benefit, the poet’s willingness for you to feel emboldened by the essence contained in the words being palpable.
I was privileged to read this book as an ARC on Reedsy Discovery.
I was also privileged to receive my very own hard copy from Athena all the way from Greece, with a lovely hand-written message which I appreciate very much.