This Long Trip to Myself by Steve Saari (Author), Chris Arens (Illustrator) and Julie Quanrud (Illustrator)

Publication Date: August 19, 2013

 

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”192704474X” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HOLmKwYmL._SL160_.jpg” width=”105″]This Long Trip To Myself is a collection of poetry delving into topics of life, death and existence.

 

 

 

 

The author, Steve Saari, gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

 

I have said on this blog before that I am not a reader that “gets” poetry. I can appreciate the use of language and the complexity of structure but deeper meaning eludes me. There are the rare poets into whose work I delve. It’s those Poets who present straightforward ideology as well as lyrical stanzas. Saari is a poet accessible to my somewhat pedestrian understanding of the subject. It came as no surprise to discover that this poet is a composer and many of the poems read like song lyrics.

In This Long Trip To Myself, Saari gives the reader a path into the soul of the poet.  He gives the reader depth and lyricism in the very creepy poem “Shadowland”—If you die/And I attend you/I also will learn. Much of Saari’s poetry is introspective. Much of it deals with internal struggle and death. The poem, “The Tomb” brought to mind pictures viewed of Holocaust victims. The poem brought forth stark imagery of jutting bones and being surrounded by death. Likely not the intent of the poet but poetry is a personal experience.

The poem “Alice” tells the remembered tale of a girl losing her shoes and a woman restrained in what sounds to be an asylum setting. The poem is powerful and moving in the sense that no matter where a reader is in their life, they have those pivotal moments to which they might or will cling in the end. I read the poem a few times in an attempt to absorb the enormity of the event for this woman and her loved one or caretaker, who within the poem, wishes they had known her when she was vital.

My favorite poem was decidedly Seussical, “6,740 Days in the Life of a Bookworm”. The poem was funny, symbolic and poignant.

If you like to read poetry or like haunting lyrical stanzas, the work of Steve Saari is for you.

This Long Trip To Myself has been nominated for The Foreword Book of the Year Award, the NIEA Indie Excellence Award, The Next Generation Indie Book Award, the Eric Hoffer Award and the Minnesota Best Book Award.

If this sounds like a book for you, you can order it from Amazon.com by clicking on the title anywhere in this review. Links for Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk appear below:

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Steve Saari has worked as a playwright, composer, actor, and director, for most of his adult life. He co-owns the theater and film production company “Saarens Productions” with his partner, DeeJay Arens. Steve lives in Bemidji, Minnesota.

For more information about Steve Saari and his work, visit his website and Writers AMuse Me Publishing. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Smashwords, YouTube and Twitter @Steve_Saari.