I received a free copy of Away From Shore in exchange for an honest review. As always, this did not change my opinion of the book.
I cannot honestly claim to know very much about poetry. I don’t remember much that I learned about it in various English classes throughout school. Once upon a time, I was a fairly prolific poet myself. I have reams and reams of angsty (and exceptionally bad) poetry written through junior high and into high school. By no means does that in any way make me an expert.
However, that being said, I’ve always thought that poetry is a much more emotionally expressive art than straight prose. You definitely have more flexibility to play with language in interesting ways.
Away From Shore is definitely emotionally evocative. As you move through the poems you are taken from the highs of falling in love, the depths of despair after a relationship ends and into a place of healing.
Often, poetry can be dense, overlong and (let’s be honest) just plain boring. That certainly isn’t the case here. Mary McCormack Deka’s writing is light and lovely. She doesn’t drag anything out necessarily, everything is purposeful and elegant. Most of her poems are quite short. “Life” stood out to me as a particular favorite, although this is full of gems. Even as someone who considers themselves a poetry novice, I had no trouble devouring this book in one sitting.
I definitely recommend you check out Away From Shore and while you’re at it, you can read more about Mary herself here.