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  • By Melissa Snark
    Apr 18, 2013
    Before the Blooming is a collection of poetry representing seven years of a young woman's life. Poems are ordered by topic, and cover a wide range of subjects: life and death, love and loss, serious and whimsical. The spirit of the volume is transformative, demonstrating growth at the endurance of life's painful lessons, and also hopeful. I'll confess, I don't know a great deal about poetry. I'm driven to write other things, and usually with a great deal more wordiness than a mere poem could hope to contain. That said, I enjoyed browsing through Bree Felling's compendium a great deal. There is a lot to like, including a lovely cover showing a tender blossom in the dirty hands of a gardener. As a mother, this nurturing image corresponds to how I often feel about my own children—as caretaker and protector. (Of course, at other times I am a zookeeper and the warden of an insane asylum.) It varies with the day of the week and the moon cycle... Bree fully manages to capture the trials and... More > tribulations of feminine youth. She pours her heart into her poetry and takes the reader along on an empathetic journey. She portrays the people in her life with passion, and my mind's eyes painted a portrait of the individuals she wrote about. In particular, "The Piano Girl" resonated with me, leaving me with a vivid mental image and a profound sense of melancholy. My orderly tendencies wanted to regroup the poems chronologically instead of categorically in order to make the journey linear, but I can understand why the poet chose as she did to go with broad categories instead of a well-ordered progression. Emotions, like life, are seldom neat. I would have liked to see a bit more done with the formatting—poems run onto more than one page, leaving a lot of white space that could have been used more efficiently. Also, I wanted more pictures, because for me, poetry and pictures go hand in hand. The volume does contain the occasional small image but it would have benefited from the inclusion of photographs or drawings. Before the Blooming is a wonderful reading choice for anyone who enjoys poetry and wishes to reconnect with a young woman's journey to adulthood.< Less
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Product Details

Bree Felling
March 15, 2013
Hardcover (dust-jacket)
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.68 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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