Realistic Poetry International Honest Review
Picking Up the Pieces by Koli Marie
Koli Marie's 'Picking Up the Pieces’ isn't the first book we've had the pleasure of reading, so we must start out by first expressing our sincere gladness to feel the significant growth and elevation of herself as a person, and writer, when it comes to understanding how to deal with her adversities and the post-trauma of her past.
With a strong yet gentle voice of logic and reason, Author Koli Marie easily connects with her audience by demonstrating transparency and inciting awareness, writing directly from the core of her heart and experience. This advantage gives her poetry a personal and intimate feel as she recalls some of the most painful, horrific experiences of her life.
A survivor of emotional, mental and physical abuse, after reading this book we’re greatly inspired by Author Koli Marie’s life’s testimony, and believe she speaks for so many others who have, or still are walking in her shoes, traveling down a rugged road, fighting and struggling to configure and repair the remnants of a damaged past.
From family to romantic relationships, this book tells of how Marie’s velvet heart of compassion has been torn, rent and tattered, slit to pieces even, left maim, scattered in smithereens. But just like any precious rare gemstone, her unfading beauty and strength cannot be extracted, and she proudly chooses to define herself rather than allowing her experiences to do it for her. Through faith and belief in herself and abilities, somehow, someway, the Author manages to pull herself from the murky shadows of a disturbing history and convert all of the pain and disappointment she’s ever felt into moving testimonials of wisdom, courage, might and truth.
This book is more than just a collection of creative writing or structured verses for appeal or entertainment purposes, as it reads as a timeless emotional memoir and capsule of hope that bravely confronts iniquitous worldly oppositions and other rampant evils plaguing our society, such as rape/abuse, child abandonment, neglect, and etcetera. Many poems a part of this book provide a clear reminder that the reality of the world we live in is far from perfect and doesn’t promise any of us merely butterflies, sunshine and fragrant roses, not even as children. Like Marie, in actuality, adversity and the harsh conflict that follows typically makes its way into our lives in the early phases of our youth, ultimately shaping our attitudes and perspectives of people, ourselves, and life, for better or worse.
We feel Author Koli Marie does an excellent job at accentuating the reality of these types of internal hardships by using her own life-print as a prime example, where readers are not left to look from the "outside in," rather gently invited to step into her open heart to sense her pain, visualize her scars, and then rejoice at her glowing optimism and steadfast resilience.
In one of our favorite poems entitled 'Gratitude', her healing from a haunting past is more than evident as she makes sure to make mention of all the daily joys, pleasures, and people she has in her life that fuel her in a positive manner. This touching, inspiring poem is realistic and offers wise advice without persuasion, emphasizing the value and importance of gratefulness, regardless of how much she resents pieces of her history. It is a universal anthem that can be used in our everyday lives and passed on for generations to come. Such high notes of virtue and compassion are admirable, commendable even, to choose the road to recovery and healing and look towards a brighter day.
Though we have found deep meaning and purpose from each poem featured in this collection, our review wouldn’t be complete if we fail to highlight the symbolic poem ‘Water.’
We absolutely adore this poem as Marie reflects on the old and new view of her life, using a metaphorical style and interpretation that compares two different body of waters, the Hudson, fresh and pure, and then the Gowanus Canal, 'gross and dirty,' in the words of the Author. With an abstract approach, the two bodies of water are symbolic for the type of blood that runs through her veins. Resounding bells of victory sound off when in the end, Marie says;
“Somedays I feel like maybe the Gowanus Canal is the water that flows through my veins, gross and dirty. But then I remember the Hudson, and what it represents; hope and starting anew. I remember that my hope has been restored, that I’ve been given a chance to start fresh. It’s the Hudson I have in my veins, now and forever.”
Well done, Koli, and keep using your poetry to grow and help others! We’re glad to rate this book with 5 stars and recommend you read the book for yourself!