Lessons II: Mirror Conversations by LaDonna Marie
Review by Red City Review
A lifetime lived through the self-reflecting conversations one woman has with herself as she sits in front of a mirror, Lessons II: Mirror Conversations takes the reader on a poetic journey of trial and tribulation. Poet LaDonna Marie has crafted a book of narrative poetry that is broken up into four distinct sections. Starting off the journey in Things Never Said, we come to know Abby as she looks back on her time as a young girl growing up. In Awareness, we follow Abby as a mother of two girls who is trying her best to put her hardships behind her as she aims to be the kind of mother she’s always wanted to be. She struggles to find a balance between finding time for her daughters, her career, and her relationship with God. The third section, The Shift, follows Abby as she realizes that she has to make a major change to find the happiness she so desperately yearns for, as we finally come to Lessons, which is the final section that displays what Abby has learned throughout her journey. Although the fourth and final part of this poetic narrative is the shortest one, it reaches out to the reader as well, letting them reflect on what Abby has gone through as she finds strength not only in God but in herself as well.
The poems themselves are all rather short, and they are easy to get through, allowing a quick and enjoyable reading experience. That does not mean that they lack in content, as the author creates relatable pieces that are sure to resonate with women and men who have gone through similar hardships. The poetic form stays pretty much consistent throughout the entire book, with short lines that create a fleeting, stream of consciousness verses. The poet clearly has a certain kind of style and while it does work well for her, at times we would have liked to see a bit more variety in the structure of the poems. Abby’s grief, elation, confusion, sadness, and longing could have been dug into even deeper if the poetic forms were played with to a higher degree. Nevertheless, this is a well-thought-out collection that tells a complete tale through the use of finely crafted verse.
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