Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose
In Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose, Gabriela Milton, presents an assorted collection that’s intended to invigorate the soul and speak to the depths of human understanding. She delineates her views on feminism, misogyny, passion, hate, spirituality, winning, and losing; while the most salient topic is love.
The book is divided into two parts. The first consists of poetry. In “Professions”, Milton states, “I get drunk on love, charity, and passion. These are my professions” and claims that she and her lover “died three days ago,” the day their love began. Similarly, in “Summer Love”, she describes love as coming quickly and powerfully with little foresight. The parallel is clearly drawn between passion and losing oneself in the midst of it. Conversely, in “Bloom”, Milton, refers to love as something that develops and blossoms over time.
Part II is filled with poetic prose. In “On Women’s Writings”, she illuminates her feelings about men who see women as objects. She responds to a quote from an unnamed man stating that he “…has confined women to lands of sensuality, magic, swamps, and mud; in short, to categories related to the carnal.” In another, “On Winning and Hate”, she speaks of not being able to save a man from his own self-destructive ways. In others, she covers a kaleidoscope of topics from neurosis and deception to nature and procreation.
Milton’s poetic artistry is bold and beautiful, deep and confounding. It’s laced with gorgeous symbolism and imagery. For example, in “Love Numbers”, she writes, “We laid in the grass, shadows of poppies playing on our faces with the same rhythmicity of the waves on tranquil days.” In “Who Am I”, she notes, “I delight in the waves like a gazelle in the grasslands” and later states, “My mind spreads its wings.” Due to her gift in this area, college literature professors may find her work worthy of analysis and use. It is rich with an assortment of literary greats: personification; simile; and metaphor, just to name a few.
At times, no punctuation is used, and Milton’s free-flowing content is perplexing in its profundity, making it challenging to untangle. Some readers may find it lacking in clarity. Others may second guess their interpretations. “The Sea Becomes the Word” is one, in particular, that’s hard to comprehend. Many of her declarations are paradoxical as well. For some, this may have appeal and be a sign of her talent for complexity. For others, it might seem like a smattering of contradictions.
Overall, this collection is noteworthy in its uniqueness and eloquence. Many will likely savor the journey it invites them to travel and will gain insight into the powerful impact of poetry and prose on its connoisseurs.
|Gabriela Marie Milton
|Vita Brevis Press
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|Poetry & Short Stories