Naked: Poetic Expression of Me by ShaDawne Barner is an extensive collection of poems that truly touch the heart of any reader. This book of poems was recommended to me by a friend who has far more interested in poetry than myself. Initially I was skeptical about reviewing this book, but after reading it I realized that this collection will speak to anyone who loves to read. The book contains 0ver 50 never before published poems that the author clearly poured her heart and soul into.
What I Loved
There were several things that I enjoyed starting from the first page of this book. Naked: Poetic Expressions of Me begins with touching dedication and acknowledgement pages. I, like most readers, usually breeze past all dedications since I am eager to read the book rather than read about the authors random family members or friends. In this case, the length of the pages encouraged me to read what the author had to say and I was touched by the authors clear appreciation for those who influenced both her writing and her life. In addition to acknowledging those who inspired her, the author also wrote a chapter introducing herself to her readers. After reading these sections of the book I felt as though I’d established a bond with Barner and it made her poems even more poignant and bittersweet.
The poems themselves were, overall, very well written and it was obvious that the author did not hold back. Many of the poems such as Still Angry, To a Friend, Regrets, and The Last Chances are poems that anyone can truly relate to. Even when the writer discussed situations that I never personally experienced I was able to empathize with her words and writing. Many of Barner’s poems left me seriously contemplating the author’s words, her life and even thinking about my own past relationships.
What I Would Change
While I did thoroughly enjoy reading this poetry collection, there are a few things that I would have liked to see or would have changed for various reasons. Since there are a large number of poems in the collections it would be nice if the book was divided into different sections with the poems included in specific categories. That would make it easier for the reader to find poems of a certain style, feeling, or sentiment particularly if the reader plans to quote sections of the poems at a later date. Also, I found out that the writer has written other books and having links or book titles in Naked: Poetic Expressions of Me would make it easier for readers to continue to connect with the author.
Overall I think this is a fantastic collection of poetry and I write that as someone who does not often read poetry. I believe readers who are truly passionate about poetry would enjoy this book immensely. I look forward to reading other books by this author and, given the personal nature of some of these poems, I think she would be able to write an amazing autobiography or novel based on her life experiences in the style of Meg Tilly.