By: Shoushan B
Published by: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: December 2021
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 22, 2022
If someone asked me a few months ago, I would have said that I am definitely not a poetry enthusiast and I never was. However, in the past three months, I have been given about ten poetry collections to read and review. And, oddly enough, I feel some strange need for them now. Some of these artists’ literally dive into their souls to put their own heartfelt emotions on the page; others write from a more obstructive point of view about emotions we all feel, extending from very real anger to hatred to love to beauty to the ability to see life while standing in someone else’s shoes.
In a world that is so at odds (still, after all these decades), these poets are able to write the words that, if we take the time to read them, help us better understand and accept our neighbors, communities, and the best and worst life has to offer. When it comes to Through The Soul Into Life, the author has not only dedicated it to “the experience of life,” but went on to split the poems into sections – from the spiral into the abyss, to questioning the authoritative figures who wish to impose their belief system on the rest of us, to the power of the female, with tributes to the inner self, our dear mothers, and so much more.
The focus of this collection, per the author, is a female’s questions. Her endless conundrums, and her journey to search for answers while reclaiming and loving herself and her own personal power in the process. This is an earnest, devout look at a soul suffering through the negative issues life provides, and redefining themselves in order to take away pain or alleviate it to the point where freedom can finally be felt.
One of the greatest sections that personally appealed to me was when the author dove headfirst into human normalcies and reexplored them. Shoushan B spoke about how religion got somehow twisted in this world and we ended up living in guilt, as if we continue to carry the cross that Jesus lifted, instead of looking at the cross as it was meant to be – a symbol of hope and enlightenment. The writer takes on the generations, how negative or frightening things were taught to our children as they grew. Then, the writer goes on to discusses societies and why humanity can fail when a time of poverty becomes the “norm.” The focus of these words are dead set on the fact that we have to learn we are judged or measured by our self-worth and not the value of our pocketbooks.
In another area, speaking about the female power, I ran across one poem that will be set in my head for a long time. Speaking about mothers, Shoushan B talks about the harrowing and brilliant experience of bringing life into the world. How a woman generates super-human energy that has her surpassing all normal physical limitations in order to be humbled when her child is placed into her arms. All I could think of was my daughter while reading this poem, and better understood after all these years the absolute trust females must own in order to yield their bodies to nature in such a frightening way.
Both the complex and the kind are addressed in this collection, and the poet offers spirit and a love for life, for the positive and the negative, that practically jumps off the page and into your own mind like an electric shock. It’s another title that makes poetry a new, exciting path for a reader like me, and I’m grateful for the experience.
Quill says: Through The Soul Into Life presents in-depth, beautiful poems that bring dark subjects into the light and make you rethink, and give thanks, to life itself.