Rebirth by Galatea Georgiou

Galatea Georgiou’s collection of poems starts with a loss and we are then led through the aftermath of this enormously emotive time. It is a cathartic collection, as the title suggests, about finding yourself again; it is about coming to terms with what is thrown at you through life’s rich experience and how you cope or not, and whether the people who are with you when tragic events happen are still with you when you come out the other side.

Georgiou not only uses her words but also a wealth of images to augment her work. There is a lot to be said about how it looks on the page, the thought that has gone into its presentation and the complementary nature of the images, which add something to the interpretation of the poems. Having read other collections where images are used to lesser effect, this was refreshing, beginning with the snowscape on the front cover and continuing with both colourful and muted images throughout the book.

There were a number of highlights for me. The opening poem has a rawness in the almost blunt way that Georgiou explains a life-changing event and the confusion that this creates, not only in terms of emotions but also philosophically: the “why”? It introduces a message that continues as a thread throughout the collection; about trying to conquer darkness and finding a way through and it sets the tone of acknowledgement of circumstance, the fight it presents and the attempt to rise to it and get beyond it, with all the small victories and setbacks that that engenders.

The poem that begins “3.34am” is an example for me of what is good about images accompanying poems. Set on a black page with a night-time image on the page facing, Georgiou describes a snapshot of a sleepless night and the sense of thinking about your place in this world, this universe, while everything continues its process around you, both in nature and in the daily life of humans. It’s simply written but strangely evocative.

I liked this collection. I liked the way that I felt while I was reading it and despite the thoughtfulness of her writing, it is easily accessible. I liked the strength shown despite the sorrow and the sense that, even though life is hard, there is determination and doggedness to keep going, to surmount.

The author approached me for a review and this is a true and fair representation of my opinion of her work.

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