Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose

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In Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose, author and poet Gabriela Marie Milton takes the reader on a deeply personal journey across the globe and into her heart. The verses delve into themes ranging from love to loss to feminism, all of them clearly inspired by the author’s own experiences. The palpable emotion and unique turns of phrase ensure that this will be a book that will stay with you long after you set it down.

Milton’s poetic style is distinctive and eye-catching on the page—long, lyrical lines giving way to short, emphatic fragments and back again. Each one invites the reader to experience the world through her eyes. They offer an interesting first-person dialogue between poet and reader, with a certain intimacy that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. In “The Last Love,” Milton’s dialogue between poet and reader moves like a witty back and forth: “I say the first love is French/you ask how’s the last.”

Her descriptions are wholly unique and eminently creative. I’m particularly struck by a line from “Fight”––“Your words grow in the breeze like dough under the whispers of the moon.” The imagination it takes to craft a line like that is impressive.

Almost every poem carries such poignancy and a hint of loss, no matter what the greater theme is. From “Love Numbers” and its soft reminiscence of drinking wine in the grass to “Summer Love” and its ephemeral nature, poignancy is to be found everywhere, adding just a hint of salt to enhance the sweetness.

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow grows even more personal in the poetic prose section. The lyricism of the prose delves deeper into Milton’s emotions and personal life, often with a curious and engaging touch of magical realism. In her first entry, “My Name is Gabriela,” she uses the vivid imagery of “I start knotting the thin rosy bodies of the quiet words that make up the four thousand volumes that reside in here” to describe reading as a child.

In “The Six O’clock Café,” Milton’s prose takes a turn toward the fictional, combining poetry, magical realism, and mystery to tell a short, impactful story. Once again, loss takes center stage in a highly creative way.

This collection of poetry and poetic prose will be a hit with fans of contemporary poetry looking for something that doesn’t hold back from sharing its innermost emotions and for those who enjoy creative word play.

Reviewed By:

Author Gabriela Marie Milton
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 112 pages
Publisher Vita Brevis Press
Publish Date 27-Jul-2021
ISBN 9781737296508 Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Poetry & Short Stories