Reader Review: Unrequited – Mona Soorma
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of poetry. Despite loving studying certain aspects of literature throughout my education and having fun exploring different genres, poetry isn’t something that’s ever necessarily caught my eye. Some poems take me off guard completely and I fall in love with them, but, most of the time, the genre goes overlooked by me. Therefore, I was hesitant to take on the request to review the poetry collection ‘Unrequited’ when the author approached me and asked me to do so. Though, I threw caution to the wind in the hopes of expanding my reading experience and decided to take on the book anyway.
‘Unrequited’ is a collection of poems which are all very much focused on exploring the process of romance as the heart goes through the motions of loving and losing. The different works showcased throughout the book hope to capture emotions that words can’t easily describe – feelings that many of us may be familiar with but are unable to express. The collection is split into three sections with the focuses of ‘love’ ‘loss’ and ‘rise’, giving an exploration into the vastness of those emotions that are so strongly tied into romantic relationships.
Once again, I’m going to state that I am not experienced in reading or analysing any form of poetry, and, in turn, this review can easily be taken with a pinch of salt. I’ve never claimed to have much interest in the genre, but I’m not somebody who’s going to completely write a type of writing off just because I’m not particularly accustomed to it. There are some elements of poetry that I do really admire and I do believe that it’s rather a bold art – though, in my mind, it’s only appealing to me as a reader if it’s done so in a particular tone and narrative.
I started reading the book on rather shaky foundations – due to the fact that, as well as not being experienced in the poetry genre, but I don’t have much experience with romance overall. I’m not interested in romantic love, at least not at the moment, and I don’t have the somewhat painful memories of relationships that this book works to reference. Therefore, I wasn’t necessarily able to connect to the book as a reader as the poems didn’t speak to me on a personal level. I wasn’t able to put myself in the narrator’s shoes, nor was I able to find that the poems articulated my own feelings. Though, saying this, I can see the appeal of the book for those who have experience in relationships and are finding ways to experience themselves through different means.
The way that the book has been written means that it is going to be immersive for those who find it relatable. There’s an evident narrator who is experiencing very specific emotions and, if the reader has their own experience of those feelings, then it’s quite understandable that they’re going to take comfort in seeing the words portray how they feel or have felt. The author does a good job of writing the book in a way so that it comes across incredibly emotive. The feelings and thoughts that are conveyed are evidently raw and strong and, once again, if you’re familiar with the subjects, then you may be swept away by the tone that the book takes on. There’s no doubt that the author is speaking (and writing) from the heart, which makes the collection come across all the more personal and interesting for any audience that may stumble upon it. Even if you aren’t a fan of poetry, that is still something to admire.
I also found that the collection is a quick, easy read which generally made it more enjoyable. I don’t find that longer poems suit collections such as this one, so I was happy that the separate works were ‘short and sweet’, if it were. As well as this, this helped the pacing of the book as it was more immersive and the emotionality of the poems came across a lot clearer as the poems were shorter. The feelings being portrayed weren’t dramatised or overly drawn out.
When it comes to the subjects that the various poems focus on, I think they definitely do work well together. They all follow a specific topic and are set out in a specifically toned narrative, which means the collection works well together as a whole. Likewise, the tone is bold, it’s evident, and it gives the reader the sense that the narrator has a lot to say and they’re not afraid to speak their mind. In turn, readers who are familiar with these feelings are going to be able to take comfort in the factors that their not alone in their emotions and, in some cases, they may also feel empowered.
Personally, I think my favourite of the works was the one entitled ‘Spurned’ as darker poetry is definitely my preference when it comes to the genre. Though, I also enjoyed ‘For What I Had’ and ‘The Living Dead’. Out of the collection, those are the three that stood out to me the most.
If you’re a fan of poetry that explores the emotions of the heart, then I definitely think you should give this collection of poems a look. It does a good job of putting you into the shoes of the narrator and allows you to explore their own raw experiences.
If you’re looking to expand your reading preferences and don’t know if poetry is a genre that’s for you, why not give this book a read and see what you think either way?