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Book Review: In Its Own Time by Marianne Brems

In Its Own Time by Marianne Brems

In Its Own Time by Marianne Brems

Publication Date: 11th August 2023

Genre: Poetry

4 Stars

One Liner: Poignant.

In Its Own Time is a chapbook with a collection of poems on varied themes but with a central thread- time. It has twenty-two poems, some a few lines and some a few stanzas, but none beyond a page. However, each poem is full of emotions, thoughts, and a sense of melancholy. 

There’s much to think about the handful of words on each page. For example:

The first (title) poem deals with the grief of a loved one in the ICU and contrasts it with the hustle and bustle of the city outside that stops for no one. 

Stranger is where you make eye contact with a random person on the street. A tiny acknowledgment of our existence and the burdens we carry and a spark of hope that we are not alone. 

*Editor's note: Stranger was featured in issue 3 of our literary journal, WayWords, with themes of connections. Pick up a copy here!

Toddler and Tangles of Loss are easily my favorites. While the first is about basic human nature and the innocence of a child, the latter shows the grief of losing a loved one. In fact, personal loss is a recurring theme in the collection. How does one handle losing a life partner? What role does a friend or a neighbor play? Change is another poem dealing with grief and mourning. 

The Skin of Thought seems to be inspired by a quote mentioned in the title. I love this one. It’s a different (yet known) take on ‘words’, something that resonates with me as a writer. Words are important for everyone, but for writers, they have a mighty special role! Transformation also deals with words but uses tulips as a metaphor. 

Yard Sale and Sparkle are sort of similar in how they present the old in a new format. While old items get a fresh life through sales in the former, a touch of new paint adds sparkle in the latter. 

Leaves in the Sun presents a glimpse into autumn. A Season Halted shows what happens when the seasons are delayed. There’s death in both, but autumn has rebirth, while a delayed season could lead to a permanent end. 

There are other poems like Trust and Bridge, which read like an ode to the words and their meanings. What I loved the most about the collection is the seamless flow of verses. There are alliterations, wordplays, and imagery, but none of them overpowers the central theme. The writing emphasizes the emotions but with careful control. 

“Amidst the urgency of sustenance,

just a simple story of stillness

like the last line in a book

before the cover closes.”

This is from the last poem, A Simple Stillness, where a heron is poised to kill a fish for food. The poem captures the moment with such perfection that it transports the reader to the setting. 

To summarize, In Its Own Time is a worthy chapbook with poignant, thoughtful, and heart-touching poems on different topics. It may not make you smile, but it will make you introspect and find comfort in your thoughts. 

My thanks to the author and Theresa from The Writers Workout for the eARC. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.


About the author: Srivalli Rekha is a blogger, writer, and amateur photographer. She got a degree in MBA and MA English Literature and chose to become a writer and a poet instead of a corporate professional.


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