Symphonies of Life is a wonderful spiritual undertaking that provides food for the soul.
Eman Abid’s new volume of poetry, Symphonies of Life, avoids the pitfalls of linguistic obscurity through simple, direct, and comprehensible language. Abid’s themes are immanent and transcendent, escaping the gravitational pull of mundane concerns. Her primary topic is that of spiritual light.
Hailing from the United Arab Emirates, Abid isn’t afraid to confront controversial subjects, like the morality or immorality of prescribed dress codes. In her poem titled “Fashion,” she writes: “It differs from person to person / Nation to nation.” She goes on to describe the many attributes of fashion as if it were a person. In the end, she comes to the conclusion that fashion should be accepted for what it is—a means of personal expression. And although cultural differences in fashion abound, “harmony can be reached.”
Later, in “Woman,” Abid addresses the place and status of women in society. She compares women to water, asserting their preciosity, logic, and wisdom. She then states that women are capable of ascending any barrier placed in their way. Words such as these demonstrate her courage and clarity of thought.
Abid’s language, although direct and simple, utilizes a variety of metrical devices, primarily iambic and anapestic. Assonance and consonance form the majority of her poems, and every now and again alliteration is employed. Such instances are delightfully emphatic, allowing Abid to make her point. Overall, her verse contains a consistent and distinct rhyme scheme.
Altering stanza lengths are occasionally distracting, but for the most part Abid appears to have a good ear for flow and an eye for form. Couplets, triplets and quatrains predominate. And she eschews interlocking stanzas, which enhances the simplicity of her verse.
The visual presentation of the poems in Symphonies of Life is free of any artificial placement, and, as already mentioned, Abid’s diction avoids the use of rhetorical devices. It’s obvious that she prefers direct presentation, utilizing tone as her primary exploratory device.
The prize of the collection is “No Promises,” a poem that discusses the emotional ramifications of love and one’s personal submission to the concept of love. Reminiscent of the Apostle Paul’s wonderful dissertation on the same subject, it presents love as a battle of conflicting emotions and needs.
In the end, Symphonies of Life is a wonderful spiritual undertaking that provides food for the soul.
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