I have just finished reading Woman: Splendor and Sorrow, the second poetry and short prose collection from the exceptionally talented Gabriela Marie Milton. It is no word of a lie to say that the book transported me, to a world, not only of the senses, but to the association of those senses with all that is true and beautiful in life. This collection flames with the passion and intensity of the true Artist.
About the book
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow is divided into two sections, the first comprising love poems, and the second poetic short prose. Turning first to the love poems, it is hard to pick a favourite, so I won’t attempt to do this. I will only say I am haunted by the ideas in poems such as ‘You in Another Life,’ which includes the following lines:
I told you. He who knows me knows the darkness.
I am the ambivalence of form located above and below.
I am you in another life.
These lines inspired my own poem, ‘Event Horizon,’ which will appear in my forthcoming collection of love poetry. The same sentiment is echoed in the poem ‘Reflection,’ which I will not quote here, as I would not want to give away too much. Suffice to say, it describes the way that love illumines something within us to which we would otherwise be blind.
Of course, I was enchanted to read of ‘Love in Costa del Sol,’ having lived there myself. The poem begins:
this unbraided love of mine
its hair floats in the direction of a wavy afternoon
its body scatters over our summers spent in Costa del Sol…
These are just a few of the highlights of the opening section of the book.
The writings in this section cover a broad range of fascinating subjects, from identity through feminism and female sexuality to gnosticism. The ideas expressed within these writings boldly challenge conventions relating to women’s role in literature and art, and the nature of artistic creation itself. In ‘Neurosis,’ Gabriela observes something which I myself have believed for a long time:
Love is a mathematical singularity.
I was delighted to read this line, as this idea figures heavily in the novel I am working on. And how I love the power in the final assertion of ‘On Women’s Writings:’
I am a woman.
I am not made in your image.
You are made in mine.
I could go on and on in praise of the book, but I urge you instead to buy it and discover its treasures for yourself! It is available from Amazon, as is Gabriela’s debut poetry collection Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, which I also highly recommend.
Looking for something to read? Visit my Book Reviews section for more recommendations!