Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Seeing Past Sickness - Book Review

Seeing Past Sickness is a collection of 17 pieces varying between poetry and short stories on getting over or past illness and sickness. It is worth noting that all proceeds to this collection go to a foundation that provides scholarships for students affected by chronic illness.

Commenting on 17 pieces will make this a lengthy commentary so I'll comment on what I believe are the 'bestest' pieces in this collection.

The opening piece to Seeing Past Sickness is a poem titled 'Bridge' by Seker Salis. It is an enjoyable piece with a nice flow. It is, also, a beautiful opening to this collection.

The first short story is called 'Day by Day' by my favourite writer Aria Glazki. The wording, flow, and characterisation are perfect. It is a 10-star piece.
It is shortly followed by the beautiful and uplifting poem 'Define Us Not' by Alison LeBlanc. Here are a few lines: "Life is full of mystery/and pain and grief and war/but all that I can tell you is/there's plenty more in store".
This is followed by a slightly odd but quite interesting story about overcoming obstacles called 'Uncle Ed' by Kathy DeFlane. The story is told by a fairly funny narrator.

Several pieces in, we get the poem 'Hope', written by Carrie Renee McAlister. It is the eleventh piece in Seeing Past Sickness. It is as the title suggests a hopeful poem that opens with a fresh and creative image: "For so long I lay dormant/like a thousand bulbs/refusing to bloom". I absolutely loved this piece.

The short story 'She Loved Tommie' by C. B. Jennings nearly brought me to tears. Meanwhile, 'Professor' by Simon Quellen Field is a short story written as one long conversation. I have never read a story written like this before, but I must applaud the author for absolute creativity and ability to piece together such a delicate story in such a form.
'Professor' is followed by 'Sacrifice' another piece by Aria Glazki; a poem this time about the painful struggle the chronically-ill endure to merely live and get through their days. It is a slow but heart-wrenching piece. Aria's poetry is as impeccable as her short stories.
Then comes another short story by a writer I've wanted to read for a while now: 'The Daily Grind' by Margit Sage. It is slightly similar to Glazki's 'Day by Day' piece but it is nonetheless different, with its own struggle and flavour. The protagonist is a writer, therefore, many can relate to this piece in several ways.
Seeing Past Sickness ends with another poem by Alison LeBlanc, called 'The Picture of Tolerance', which I wish I could quote whole, but will have to do with these lines: "Chalk in lines of tolerance/So bold and very clear/Paint new hope for all the youth/And shadow every fear". This poem is the perfect conclusion to this collection of healing, strength and rebirth.

I am glad to have got this opportunity to read Seeing Past Sickness, which was already on my to-read list. It also gave me the chance to read pieces by writers I have met online and by others, whose work I look forward to reading more of in the future.

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