Fortunate: Tarot Poetry by Kim Rashidi

I began my journey with Fortunate by using the book blindly for a few days. Each morning I would open to a random page, and read it as if pulling a tarot card for my days fortune. I found the daily readings to be inspiring, motivating, and a fun–it was like starting the day with a fortune cookie!

I like that this book of poetry pairs so well with any tarot deck–you could even use them in place of pulling cards! Flipping through the pages of this book mimics the act of shuffling a deck of cards, making the experience of reading this book just as magical as if you were pulling for a spread.

It was readings like this that kept me coming back for more —

venture off and take the route

that seems fitting

and if this sounds too hard, remember

that value requires committing.

from Knight of Wands

Each poem speaks to the reader, imparting wisdoms and truths that are meant to motivate, inspire, and to help see your life through a different lens. Tarot cards are meant to bring understanding and insight to your life, and this collection of poems does just that, delving deeper into the age-old messages of the cards and broadening our interpretation of those messages. In this way, the cards are modernized, kept relevant, and creates a conversation between traditional and modern analysis’ of the cards.

acknowledge your brilliance

on the smallest of scales,

be patient with you and

let new dreams set sail.

from Seven of Pentacles

Finding routine in any daily practice (such as meditation, journaling, or even tarot) can help you get in the habit of accessing your intuition, which in turn can guide your decision-making and align your actions.

This is an amazing supplement to any Tarot reader’s collection, and it is a great tool for helping readers to become better understand the meaning of the symbols in tarot. If we can better understand the messages in the cards, we can gain insight into our own lives. Some of the interpretations do not line up with the traditional RWS Tarot meanings, but that’s the great thing about readings–they can be interpreted many different ways and it is always interesting to think about the meanings in a new way.

Tarot cards have been used throughout the ages for gaming and fortune-telling, but their symbolism suggests a deeper purpose–to gain insight into the human mind, and enhance our own personal development. Some people read fortunes to gain insight into the future, but I believe tarot provides much more insight into the reader themselves. The cards provide us with excellent advice at any juncture and, if taken to heart, can help us to understand ourselves better and plan how to live better in the future.

“Tarot cards … can serve as an advisor and help in widening the users’ vision. Tarot cards are deemed as a map of life, or a signpost, to tell you how to lead a good and correct life.”   

Royal Thai Tarot, Sungkom Horharin

Thank you to Andrews McMeel Universal for sending me a free Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of this title. All opinions are my own.

Lunar Tides by Shannon Webb-Campbell

Expansive and enveloping, Shannon Webb-Campbell’s collection Lunar Tides asks, “Who am I in relation to the moon?” Which, in turn, poses a very meta question: who are we in relation to the natural world? As Jane Austen would say, “What are men compared to rocks and mountains?”

These poems explore the connections between love, grief, water and the moon. The collection is structured like the lunar calendar, into moon phases, like the cycles of life, or the stages of grief.

“What phase was the moon when she left? / How high or low were the tides?” This short couplet begins the collection and likens the phases of the moon to the phases of life, asking who are we when we pass? Will our goblet be full or empty?

Lunar Tides follows the rhythms of the body, the tides, the moon, and long, deep familial relationships that are both personal and ancestral. Originating from Webb-Campbell’s deep grief of losing her mother, Lunar Tides charts the arc to finding her again in the waves. 

Earth energy shoots through your body

you inner garden hydrates

vines grow stronger to your mother

Bloodstone New Moon

The poem Bloodstone New Moon associates breathwork with healing energy. Breathing is used as a way to connect with a higher power, and, in this case, with her mother. Though the physical channels are different, we may still connect to the ones who have passed, as Webb-Campbell suggests. 

The poems in Lunar Tides seek to define grief, and ultimately find a path toward healing. We, all of us, have two mothers: Our human mothers, as well as our Mother Earth. To understand that connection is to understand ourselves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi’kmaq) settler

poet, writer, and critic. She is the author of Still No Word (2015), recipient

of Eagle Canada’s Out in Print Award, and I Am A Body of Land (2019;

finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry). Shannon holds an MFA in

Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and a MA

in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and

Labrador, and is pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick

in the Department of English. She is the editor of Visual Arts News

Magazine. Shannon is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and

lives in Kijpuktuk/Halifax in Mi’kma’ki.

Thank you to Book*hug Press for sending me a free Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of this title. All opinions are my own.

Where Hope Comes From: Poems for Quarantine

Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill | Hachette Books

Suffering is universal. This has been the hard truth for everyone during the past year, when COVID-19 pandemic reached its long arm worldwide. “No human has been left untouched by the devastation and the chaos” felt by the Coronavirus pandemic. As someone who was considered high-risk, Nikita Gill wrote where Hope Comes From to cope with her feelings of uncertainty and loneliness during these unprecedented times.

“I want you to know that no matter what you are going through, no matter how big and deep and painful those feelings are, you are not alone.”

—Nikita Gill

These poems seek to rebuild hope. “I wrote poems, mantras, affirmations, reasons to live”, and they help us to see that we are not alone. Despair can make way for happiness, and beauty can be found In togetherness. By exploring the life and rebirth of stars, Gill found what she was looking for.

Continue reading “Where Hope Comes From: Poems for Quarantine”

Dearly: Poems by Margaret Atwood

IMG_7558I am so excited to have scored this one!!! Isn’t it gorgeous?! A HUGE thank you to @eccobooks at @harpercollins for sending me a free ARC of this new book of poems from the great Margaret Atwood! I have been anticipating the release of this since I heard it was being published and I am so so SO excited for the chance to read and review it early. This title will be released in November, so mark your calendars, Atwood fans!!

Margaret Atwood’s new book of poems is just as amazing as her work in fiction, and reminds us that she is as much a poet as talented novelist. Her simple lines are steeped in meaning and paint a hauntingly fresh view of reality.

dearlyIn Dearly, Atwood’s first collection of poetry in over a decade, she touches on a variety of themes, from love and loss to the passage of time. Some of my favorite verses brought up themes of memory and time, something that Atwood often includes in her writing. Her new poetry is as introspective and personal as ever, but this collection really resonated with me personally. Atwood lost her husband last year after a long fight with dementia. My grandmother was diagnosed with it, and I can understand and relate to the pain of coping when someone you love is starting to forget who you are.

Continue reading “Dearly: Poems by Margaret Atwood”

Nikita Gill

“I will take her to the library, and introduce her to every librarian because they are where Athena lives now.”

44157727. sy475 I chose this for @book_roast’s #magicalreadathon a few months back (and paired it with her other book of poems, Fierce Fairytales, another really great read!) This one really stuck out to me between the pair of books, and I have to admit I liked it much better. I am a huge lover of Greek myths so I had a good basic understanding of the tales themselves. It was very empowering to see some new interpretations of the stories, all told from the female perspective. Considering that all of the OG myth-tellers were male (Homer, Hesoid, Ovid, Virgil, Herodotus…) this book brings a breath of fresh air to the readings. I really enjoyed the short versions of these myths retold, and I loved how the book was structured―the poems were organized like the gods’ genealogy tree, which I thought was really cohesive and gave a good sense of chronology. featuring hand-drawn illustrations by the author. If you like myths and feminism, you will like Great Goddesses.

“Does the night ever tire of the darkness? Does the sea ever tire of her own depths? Do the trees ever tire of their roots?”

39088508If you enjoy Rupi Kaur you will enjoy Nikita Gill. Fierce Fiarytales offers even more stories of empowerment that have flipped once-upon-a-time upside down. The women in this daring collection of poems, stories, and hand-drawn illustrations are anything but your delicate damsel-in-distress. In the world of Nikita Gill, the princess saves herself.

Nikita Gill is a British-Indian writer and poet living in the south of England. With a huge online following, her words have entranced hearts and minds all over the world. Follow her on Instagram at @nikita_gill.

Fat Girl Finishing School

Fat Girl Finishing School is the first full-length collection of poems from Rachel Wiley, the Queer-Biracial-Feminist poet, performer and body-positive activist whose work spans from body image, to love and loss, and feminism. Fat Girl Finishing School is a love letter to the body. When confronted with fatphobia, sexism, misogyny, and shame each poem chooses self-love, despite society’s expectations. This is a book steeped in experience, every story is striking, powerful, and unmistakably palpable.

I can very much relate to this book. Unfortunately, eating disorders and anxiety are very real issues that are really hard to talk about and tackle, but this book did a great job of it. As a woman who deals with many of these issues every day, many of these verses resonated with me deeply.

Wiley’s poems create a striking and very real commentary on important issues in our society. But this collection of poems covers much more than just eating disorders―gender, race, and faith are just a few of the various themes these poems touch on. These are more than just poems; they are special stories of the struggle for personal growth, self acceptance, and understanding the human experience. More than just a book about one single identity, Fat Girl Finishing School makes intersectionality multi-dimensional. 

Continue reading “Fat Girl Finishing School”

To Journey Over the Rainbow

From Land of Oz is a quest about finding poetry everywhere it presents itself. These poems are based on L. Frank Baum’s cherished children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a story has inspired reproductions, continuations and recreations since its original publication in 1900. Inspired, Kathleen de la Chaumette relies on the classic as the basis of her poems in the recently published From the Land of Oz.

Reminiscent and nostalgic, the poems in the collection attempt to recreate the magic and mystery we experienced as children, reminding us of and transporting us back to Oz. The wonderment and joy that follows the childlike innocence experienced and replicated through The Wizard of Oz are retained and revisited in De La Chaumette’s selection of poems. Continue reading “To Journey Over the Rainbow”