Meditative, and gently laced with themes of love, Christianity, and consideration, Not I, But I Am i
Not I, But I Am by Author Doris Elaine
Reviewed by Realistic Poetry International
Author Doris Elaine’s Not I, But I Am is the second part of a poetry series. They are a dissection in words – taking out all of the pieces of one’s personality, examining them, and figuring out what is best to keep and what’s healthier to abandon.
Meditative, and gently laced with themes of love, Christianity, and consideration, Not I, But I Am is a saga of spiritual growth. Growth is difficult in the tumultuous ocean of modern life, and this collection takes on that challenge with great faith. It is ultimately about improving oneself in the real world when social media and a culture of fakeness overwhelms.
The syntax and rhyme schemes that Elaine uses are interesting and unusual, a blend of classical and contemporary. The notes in green presented at the end of each poem tell a larger story of how social media can cause more harm than good. The emotions of the deadly sins show their faces often – greed, jealousy, and vanity in particular. The poet utilizes this message in both the notes and poem it underlines to show where these feelings can come from, and how you can find yourself feeling nothing but bad emotions when you are constantly comparing yourself to others.
In “Innocents Betrayed”, Elaine states that the experience of being ever-present on social media feels like a betrayal. It is a struggle against everything that should be important – what you want versus what society wants.
While social media is very useful for some, it can be quite damaging and has detached people in many ways from each other and from the experience of life. Beautiful, rare things go unnoticed and there’s no longer time for personal growth when you only find yourself wanting for what others have. Or at least, what they give the impression of having. “Cowardly Used as Mimic” says this perfectly.
“To some it becomes their face Where it’s made to their disguise For their image now in place And no one knowing otherwise” -from “Cowardly Used as Mimic”
My personal favourite was “Spell of an Unknown Zone”, an ambient piece that stands out by itself. Not I, But I Am, in short, is an uplifting, pensive and deeply personal collection of poems. Elaine’s work does have religious themes. Even if you aren’t a spiritual person, it would still be true to call this a strong book, and I would still recommend it wholly. It has quite a lot of relevance, without stoking any anger or agony about the problems that follow us today. Not I, But I Am is nothing short of hopeful.
This book is available for purchase on