A Collection of Light by Neeme || Book Review

“There’s a large part of me that craves sunset drives
with no destinations;
sliding down hills on bodyboards in the midst of thunderstorms
& 3am conversations with our feet on the wall & warm wine.
Speak to me about stars & dreams
& collisions of fate.
Those are the things that make me breathe a little deeper.”

Synopsis: The debut collection of poetry and prose by Australian author Neeme. A Collection of Light offers poems about love, loss, grief, depression and hope. Poetry is accompanied by the authors own illustrations.

Source: Goodreads

Title: A Collection of Light: Poetry and Prose
Author: Neeme
Links: Book Depository | Goodreads

Genre / Themes: Contemporary | Mental Health | Nonfiction | Poetry
Point of View: First Person

Publisher: Thorpe-Bowker
Publication Date: December 10, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 130

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review; thank you for the opportunity to read and review this novel. This in no way sways my review or opinion of the novel.

Neeme, an astounding poet from Australia, allowed me the great privilege to read her beautiful collection — there are little words to express my gratitude, for I’ve fallen in love with her magical way with words. A Collection of Light consists of three different sections: sunlight, dusklight and dreamlight. Within each section, Neeme explores a vast number of topics that so many people in our society today can relate to: feminism, depression, sadness, grief, identity, belonging, love, discrimination and how to live life. She opens her arms to a wider audience, making everyone feel welcomed and understood through her words. I truly hope more people discover her poems, for they’re absolutely remarkable.

Note on reviewing poetry: Poetry is rather subjective. This review will attempt to examine the layout and structure of the poems and novel itself, rather than necessarily critique the works within it.

Pro 1. The beautiful use of metaphor and imagery to convey the topics is extraordinary. Honestly, the reading experience is so magical and memorable due to her beautiful use of these literary devices! There are so many poems that transported me to places and worlds beyond the walls of my home. They also help convey feelings and thoughts and emotions that are simply to hard to say in a concrete and straightforward statement, making it easier to comprehend her experiences (and possibly your own).

Pro 2. The wavelike layout regarding the content of her poems provides a more realistic view of human emotions. Many of the poetry collections I’ve read are either (1) too linear or (2) all over the place. Neeme’s collection feels more like a story, following someones journey through the ups and downs of life. There are times when life is full of beauty, making it easier to fight off the darkness and sadness. But then there are moments where you simply succumb to all the feelings in one go. The themes in her poems are authentic, flowing beautifully from emotion to emotion in a gradually progressive way — one step back, but two steps forward.

Pro 3. The majority of the poems provide an optimistic view on sensitive topics. Rather than focusing on the difficulties of traumas and hardships, Neeme’s poetry centers on finding hope during these ordeals. Defending the need to break up, wishing themselves and their previous partner good things in life, seeing one’s own power after dealing with sexism and prejudice — her writing seeks to find beauty and happiness when it all seems lost. In the section dusklight, there are a few darker and sadder poems — but Neeme slowly and brilliantly brings back the progressive approach to healing. For those who may be nervous to read mental health focused poetry, Neeme’s work is a great place to start.

Woe 1. Some of the poems are so deep in imagery and meaning, making it hard to comprehend. Honestly, I don’t even know if I should call this a “woe” — more of a “note to the reader”. Poetry isn’t meant to always be understood. However, there are a few that felt were TOO imagery focused that the meaning was lost. Once I re-read them a few times though, I had a better understanding of what Neeme was trying to convey.

A Collection of Light contains a wealth of beautifully written poetry, describing the multiple yet real complex emotions so many of us experience. From feelings of discrimination to falling in-love, Neeme explores a number of feelings that allow for every reader to relate to at least one (if not MANY) of her works. Her balance of addressing darker and more sensitive issues with a larger focus on healing and recovery makes this a much easier read for those with mental health struggles and anxiety; naming her collection A Collection of Light is such an appropriate title.

Note: If you EVER feel like you’re completely alone and want someone to talk to, PLEASE contact me. Do not hesitate for a second or worry that I’ll be annoyed … because I won’t be. I’m not just saying this to say it — I’m here for anyone who needs help and support. Though I’m no health professional, I want you all to know that I’m here as a listener and supporter in anyway possible.

I recommend this novel if you enjoy:

↠ Books on mental health and healing
↠ Free verse poetry
↠ Books with illustrations
↠ Poetry with substance
↠ More optimistic and hopeful reads
↠ Metaphors and imagery

Have you read Neeme’s A Collection of Light?

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Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

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