Why I’m Yours, even though I’m Not Yours

Arina Avram
This review, written by Catherine Beeman, originally appeared in Reedsy Discovery.

Poetry is such a subjective medium; what inspired the poet, and will the same sentiment move the reader of the poem? Scholars, of course, are able to evaluate poetry based on literary merit – competent use of meter, rhyme, alliteration, etc. The rest of us – we like what we like. Sometimes we don’t get it, and we move on.

This non-scholastic reviewer’s reaction to Ms. Avram’s work is mixed. The poems about cats touched me (there are two, I think), and the word-pictures she has painted to describe the seasons, especially “Winter,” are relatable. Her mournful but loving odes to Romania (“About the Country”) and to its capital, Bucharest (“Bucharest”) are worth reading.

I love most the poems in which the poet works her way from concrete to abstract within the framework of one poem; she does this with “Winter” and “Fall” – both of which, by the way, offer imagery and metaphor that are a delight. “Pretty Much Too Beloved Flower” also moves from the physical to the philosophical.

“You Only Lose the One You Cling to” (sic) feels true to me – it can apply to so many different kinds of love, in this life which sometimes feels like a series of goodbyes. “A Simple Christmas Carol” is less carol and more lament – on the face, it appears to touch on the pandemic, but later the poem references decades of hardship. Regardless, it’s quite moving, as is Ms. Avram’s beautiful tribute to her father in “My Dad.”

As previously mentioned, my impressions are mixed.  Several poems seem to speak to regret over love lost; I struggle to find a concept or metaphor to follow in these works, which are unfortunately placed mostly at the beginning of the collection. If you have the same experience (and you may not), persevere; there is some gold in this book!

If I were reviewing each poem individually, some would get three or four stars, while others would rate one star. There are enough poems of merit, in this reviewer’s opinion, to warrant three stars overall. This collection will appeal most to lovers of the natural world. You may also enjoy the photos that accompany the poems.

Punctuation in the title is the poet’s. Thank you to the poet and to Reedsy Discovery for an ARC of this work.

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