REVIEW: Diver and Other Poems

Diver is a collection of poems that I purchased from Lit Books back in 2018. I don’t usually purchase poetry since I’m picky about it but I was curious about this one since it was by a local author. It’s already 2020 so it’s about time that I read this.


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Diver
by Alina Rastam

get it here (from Litbooks, an independent Malaysian bookstore)

BOOK SUMMARY

A self-published poetry collection by writer and social activist Alina Rastam.

BOOK REVIEW

4 STARS

Diver is a thin book with 20 poems. It may be a quick read because of the number of poems it has but it is certainly not easy to read it all in one go.

There’s no theme for this collection but a lot of the poems were addressed to people in the poet’s life. Some felt like love letters or diary entries. I’m not entirely sure how to categorize it really but it seems as if they were letters, written from the deepest part of the heart, that wasn’t meant to meet the surface.

It is one of those poetry collections that need to be put in an art gallery. Every line feels sincere. When I read it, it feels as if the poet was pouring out her inmost thoughts and feelings from within the heart. It felt as if I was creeping and seeing something I wasn’t meant to, like as if I was reading into the poet’s diary and experiencing her feelings.

This might’ve been one of the most beautifully written poetry collection that I’ve read so far. I’ve always been more fascinated in lengthy poetry that takes up pages apiece. There were some poems that I didn’t understand and had to read a few times. Either way, I was still able to enjoy the writing.

With that, there was a handful of poetry that I enjoyed. It left a deep impact because of how raw it felt, and the choice of words amplified the emotions. Some of my favourites were ‘For My Father’, ‘For Chang on Her 50th Birthday’, ‘The Quiescent Rain’, ‘Letter to Jane’, ‘Uncle Bob’ and ‘To A Beloved Student’.

I highly recommend this poetry collection. However, it may be a little difficult to find out of Malaysia.

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