Book Review: “Silent Squall” by Alfa

Cover of "Silent Squall" by Alfa.
Cover of “Silent Squall” by Alfa.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing the poetry collection “Silent Squall” by Alfa!

It’s been a little while since I read and reviewed poetry collections (and yes, I know I reviewed a lot back in April) but I thought it would be fun to pick up yet another collection and read them. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“A poetic portrayal of words unspoken and unseen tempests, Silent Squall gives voice to the wounded heart. Raw and honest, the acclaimed author of I Find You in the Darkness shares her intensely personal, yet relatable stories through finely woven poetry. This new edition of Silent Squall includes an updated introduction and a brand-new chapter of modern poetry. Find understanding, comfort, and hope from the affecting poetry of Silent Squall.”

Content Warning:

This poetry collection contains descriptions of domestic abuse (both physical and emotional). If you are sensitive to such content, you may want to skip reading this collection.

Overall thoughts:

This collection was underwhelming to read overall. Many of the poems felt like journal entries that just got random enjambment in the lines to make it “appear” like they are poems. The author mentioned in her notes at the beginning of this collection that many of the poems were written in a journal she started while in therapy. However, even if they were initially written from such a context, I hoped to read some sort of poetic technique like imagery, or maybe an attempt at writing any specific meter or form of poetry. The poems as they are right now seem like journal entries with random enjambment, and not much else.

Other poems, as I read them, felt like inspirational quotes rather than actual poetry. Yes, there are poems that exist to uplift others for all sorts of reasons. However, there were little to no attempts at these poems having any poetic technique whatsoever. Though the entire collection is made of free verse poems, that doesn’t mean you can’t use any techniques at all when writing them.

There were also some “poems” that actually were not poems at all. Instead, they are better categorized as flash fiction or short stories. For instance, “You Meet and You Click” is not something I would categorize as a poem. It could arguably be a prose poem. However, that’s the closest I can get to categorizing that specific poem.

However, there are a few good poems in this collection. For example, I enjoyed reading the imagery in the poem “Poker,” because the imagery of using poker and emotional pain. There are also multiple poems that have potential to be really fascinating to read. For instance, the poem “Control” (which discusses the abuser trying to force their victim to see things the way they do) has some strong imagery. It could be expanded on to be better and stronger. This collection also strongly carries the themes of dealing with being in an abusive relationship and the aftermath of that relationship well overall.

Overall, I’m rating this collection 2 out of 5 stars!

This collection has some strong poems. However, it seems that the author wasted a lot of potential for most of the poems to have any depth. There are also some “poems” that are not poems, as I earlier noted. However, the collection does carry a strong theme of dealing with being in an abusive relationship and the aftermath. That will resonate with readers interested in reading those themes.

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