Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review: Ugly People Beautiful Hearts by Marlen Komar

Release date: March 13, 2015
About the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Age group: Adult
Pages: 96
Buy the book: Amazon 

(copy from the author in exchange for an honest review)

Description (from Goodreads):

Ugly People Beautiful Hearts is a poetry book with over 70 poems that explores loneliness, quiet sadness, bursts of happiness, and contentment over the fact that everything you have, will eventually go okay. But that's sort of beautiful in its own right.

It has verses moving between the feelings of loving someone, feeling loss, trusting the night sky, losing your light, resolving that hurt is beautiful, and finding compassion in a stranger's smile.

As someone whose experiences with poetry have mostly been gained from high school English classes, I was slightly hesitant about reading Marlen Komar's poetry collection Ugly People Beautiful Hearts. Not because I don't like poetry but because I often tend to believe that I am not capable to reading it in a way that it is "supposed" to be read. The way poetry was taught to me in high school often turned into an analysis of singular commas and periods and often it seemed like there was one single interpretation for everything even though we were told that everyone are justified for their own interpretations. Poetry was something like Whitman and Shakespeare and though the language was beautiful, it often felt difficult to connect with those pieces of writing.

I am happy I decided to give Komar's collection a chance because it opened my eyes for contemporary poetry, for poetry about people around my age living in a world familiar to me. Though I enjoyed the Plath and Frost we read in high school, I found Komar's poetry so much easier to read and connect with. The way Komar uses the English language made me marvel at the power of words and the capability the right words in right order have in creating deep emotions.

Komar's collection includes over 70 poems with together form a sort of story about loneliness, sadness, and the bursts of happiness that make the life worth living. Komar writes about chance encounters and disappointment in love. While some of her poems made me melancholic and plain sad, others made me feel happy and empowered. Komar uses words with care and consideration and as someone who loves to read, I appreciated that - she does not try to fit too much into one poem, but leaves room for imagination and interpretation.

As mentioned, the poems together create a sort of story. The way the poems are ordered shows the reader different stages of a relationship from those burst of happiness to the tears that follow a relationship gone wrong. The reader is introduced to situations in which those who have known each other well at one point have become strangers and to situations in which one has to look from afar at a person she/he has once loved.

Ugly People Beautiful Hearts is definitely a collection of poems that I will go back to. There are so many different things I highlighted on my Kindle while reading the collection, these segments chosen for this post being only a minority of them. I feel like Komar's collection includes the right words for all important situations in life. I can already see myself quoting Komar in birthday cards etc.

Ugly People Beautiful Hearts has already made me search for more contemporary/indie poetry and my plan is to add contemporary poetry more often to my reading schedule. Komar's collection convinced me that I indeed could be a poetry reader - she herself brilliantly said to me in an email exchange about this review that a lot of readers don't think that poetry is their thing, just because poetry is often thought only in terms of the classics.

Whether or not you are a fan of the classics and whether you are huge poetry reader or have never read poetry before, I think you should consider giving Komar's collection a chance. If you appreciate the beauty of words and the emotions words can create, this one is for you! 


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