Title: Stark Naked
Author: Silvia Canton Rondoni
Release date: June 1st, 2021
I’ve not read any of Silvia’s work prior to this, but recently when she asked the Kendall Reviews team about people to reach out in regards to getting her collection reviewed, I volunteered as well.
I love reading poetry, even if I don’t always get it or am smart enough to get the theme being conveyed, but there’s something so phenomenal about reading a poem. About an author baring their soul in a line or over an entire collection.
This collection is gorgeously illustrated by Silvia Nieto and each illustration really works to increase the emotions found in each piece.
What I liked: The two big notes I have written down while reading this collection are, “GRIEF PLAYS A CENTRAL ROLE” and ‘BRUTALLY AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL.” That really sums up the entire batch of poems. These are hard to read, with limited uplifting moments. There are a few, sure, but when I was finished, I was stunned with just how introspective and honest each of the poems were.
The first one, ‘Disclaimer’ really lets the reader know just what they are in for. We then get a one-two punch revolving around acceptance and moving forward with ‘Then’ and ‘Now.’
‘If Only I Knew’ and ‘Origins’ were two moving pieces. Each one dealing with where the narrator of the poems came from as well as looking back on decisions they’ve made through their life.
‘Nobody/Somebody’ was a touching poem. From my interpretation, I felt like it was somebody seeking their soulmate. someone who can complete them and make them happy.
‘David. Me. Why.’ This was a very hard piece to read. I suspect it was based on real events, but even if not, it is a poem that questions life’s moments and why the narrator is where they are versus where they could be.
The highlight for me, though, was ‘Dear Chris.’ This read like an unspoken eulogy. Saying goodbye to somebody in a way they never could when somebody was alive. Touching and devastating all within the grief of knowing you’ll never see them again.
Silvia’s poetry was both accessible yet elevated, introspective but relatable. This was a really nice group of poems that’ll make readers turn over key words and lines repeatedly, knowing that by doing so, you’ll change the meaning of spots throughout.
What I didn’t like: Poetry collections are meant to engage and uplift or cause sadness. So, when an author lays themselves on a page like this, I can’t now sit back and say anything negative about their experiences. This was really well done. If anything, I’d have loved a sentence or two after some of the poems about the author’s inspiration behind the piece, but doing so may affect the readers experience.
Why you should buy this: If you’re looking for a poetry collection that will feel relatable and have some shared life experiences, this fits that bill. Certain moments in each poem made me think of different family members, friends or moments in life. Silvia has a way of making each piece a cathartic experience but also a shared piece with the reader. As though she herself is sitting beside you, reading it aloud.
This was really well done and I can’t recommend this one enough.