I love poetry, but more than that I love poetry that makes me emotional, stirs something within me, and occasionally causes me to react. When I heard about this collection of poems I was curious to say the least. According to the back cover of Body Inferno, the collection covers a smorgasbord of challenging issues faced by both sexes, which in many ways had me intrigued before the book even arrived. The other thing I love about poetry is that it’s not a long, protracted read for the most part, but good poetry will stay with you long after you’ve read it. Think the classics here: Wordsworth, Dr Sues (yes, he was a poet and yes they are classics) So I settled down and began to read and I soon found myself touched by the words that I was reading on the page.
The collection begins with the poem entitled, ‘No Ring’ which details the emotions that surround a causal one night stand, but somehow goes deeper than the superficial. A women has an encounter in a bar with a married guy. A married guy, who takes off his wedding ring. The emotions are raw, and can be felt throughout the story which is told in a very short but powerful time. I think because the emotions are brought to the forefront this is a very powerful poem, at least for me.
Another of my favorite poems is entitled, ‘Shame’ which again stirs emotions through words, and some powerful images. I think this is a poem that many can identify with and is well worth taking the time to read. It details an affair from the other woman’s point of view. The endless hours of shame, the guilt, but more than that the longing to be with someone who belongs to another. The desperation in the few short but powerful verses, are tangible voices that ring true, and capture the moments and depth of feeling that occur whenever one has such a tryst.
My favorite poem by far is also the shortest in the entire collection, and is entitled ‘Social Network.’ Just five short sentences sum up beautifully what it would be like if you were someone’s social network. You would at least see and hear from that person each day, share so many things, but keep others secret. It could be that I am fascinated by the physiology behind social networks, but for me this poem, was powerful.
Twenty four poems later and I can honestly say I had been on an emotional journey. Some of the words struck a cord more than others, but many have stayed with me since I read them. Some had more effect on me than others, but many have stayed with me in one form or another. This is not a collection of sweet love poems and you should not expect that if you pick up this book, but rather a torrid account of the heart and the emotions that are so often evoked when we fall in love. The other thing I loved about this collection , is it was all relevant to today’s world of high tech, with references to text messages, social media and the way we hide behind our phones, desk tops and tablets, projecting an image we want the world to see rather than the truth. Sharras gets behind those games of on line charades and digs deeper into the emotions behind them and for that I applaud the author.
If, like me, you enjoy your poetry on the gritter side of life, then I highly recommend this book of thought provoking poems.