Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life Under Examination - Poetry Collection Review

Life Under Examination by Aria Glazki is a unique poetry collection where the reader can relate to almost every poem. Written in rhymed verse and decent bit of alliteration here and there, this collection encompasses a total of 26 poems on many topics as diverse as fairies and tragedies.

The collection opens with “Seminar”, a beautifully penned piece. I honestly did not know what to expect when I read that title. But I must say it lived far beyond my expectations. There are certainly many stanzas to which people in general and students in particular can relate to, like that moment when you're asked to answer a question or give an opinion and your face begins to flare red and you feel like you're about to explode. A simply spectacular poem about a topic almost everyone everywhere experiences but has never written about.

The second piece “Otherworldy Remedy” is one that hits a soft spot for me as a poet, reader and lover of all that is magical, mythological and fantastical!
"For what are our lives if they're not filled with magic?
They're pointless, and dull, and so very tragic."
Lines that ring true. I'll be hanging this poem somewhere in my room, or better on my desk to keep me alive every time I feel down.
Hats off for this purely perfect piece!

“Out of Sight” is a neat and thought-provoking poem that makes other poets and writers consider and contemplate the poor fairies' and muses' dilemma. It brought a sad smile to my face, for the simple fact that we don't really think of them and often associate these creatures with clichés, like playing pranks as Glazki mentions here.

Following that is “Eureka”, which, like many poems in Life Under Examination, is an interesting and thought-provoking piece. I'm sure every reader, no matter how old or young, can relate to this one and to the feeling we get when we try to cling to that fleeting thought; even when we come to write it down, parts of it just seem to vanish. I like how the opening two lines are repeated in the final stanza; it gives a sort of coming-together feel.                 

 “Cinematography” is a modern take on the Cinderella story without the fairy god-mother or the magic; though the evil step-mother is there in a new character. The title is a bit odd though, or not-so-poetic for me. Although it does give the reader something to think about the next time they watch or read any Cinderella story or adaptation.

*Hats off and thumbs up* is all I can say for Glazki’s “Commercialised Love”; that, and I love the title. A perfect fit for the notorious V-Day!
Life Under Examination also hits on the satirical and the ridiculous as seen in “Newsworthy”, which is a satirical piece for those, often ugly, poodles and their extravagant owners.

“Hope Dies Last” is a powerful poem for every tragedy in every time and era. As a reader “Hope Dies Last” makes me think and believe that hope does not die at all. It is a sad and powerful dedication. I had written parts of the commentary before reading the final note on the poem. It was then that I realised that the poem is about attacks that took place in Moscow in 2002; but throughout, the poem reminded me of a more recent tragedy, the Aurora Shooting that took place in 2012, where a gunman opened fire inside a movie theatre killing 12 innocent people and injuring more than 50 others.
I hope “Hope” never dies.

Glazki moves on to something lighter; a piece that I'm sure will remind all who read it of a special someone in their lives. “Only You” made me smile and that's all I can say.

“In Passing” is an interesting piece about war and loss. I found it a bit vague, but nonetheless intriguing.

The poem “Mother” is one of the best, strongest and most heartfelt pieces in this entire collection! It is a poem about the traits of a mother, every mother of every species, for that matter. This stanza, in particular, reminded me of cats, especially how feline mothers are incomparably vicious when it comes to their young: “With an innate fierceness/She'll protect them to her death/Cursing the world that hurt them/With every living breath”.

I, also, loved the lines “She creates a foundation/Then builds supporting beams”.
The entire poem just makes your heart beat differently. It is a perfect dedication to all mothers out there and to the efforts they undertake to keep their children safe. A thank you is due to every mother and accordingly to Ms. Glazki for penning this one.

Then, we come to Glazki’s poem “Blood”, which is by all means a psychotic piece!
I loved it. And that's all I’m going to say about it. I will leave it for the rest of the world to read and see for themselves.
*thumbs up Ms. Glazki*

“Last Night” is a short, interesting piece. I particularly like how it begins with “and” as though beginning in the middle of the story. The first four lines are a poem of their own; strong, deep and emotional. Perfect.

Then Ms. Glazki takes us on to the short, deep and both heartfelt and heartbreaking poem “Resolution”.

Glazki concludes her collection on a hopeful note and some seriously powerful imagery with her poem “Whole”.

I have not commented on all the pieces in the collection, for they are after all 26 pieces, but I have commented and written down notes on those that struck a chord with me (which is most of the collection).


Although the title Life Under Examination gives the this impression of a much philosophical work, it is a simple heartfelt collection of poems written, probably, at different stages of Ms. Glazki’s life. Life Under Examination deserves more than a 5-star rating for it is a collection that can, and will, touch each and every one. 

For more writing by Aria Glazki, check out her blog here.
Find her Facebook page here and find her on Twitter here.

Updates: Read my two-part interview with Aria here and here.
Also, check out her guest post on how to keep writing interesting and her writing tips for new and established authors.