Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sharing My First Review

This is the first review I’ve received!  It is written by Mr. Jim Bennett of Kindle Book Review:

Different, personal, sometimes disturbing insight. Accessible poetry.

Four stars.

This is an interesting, sometimes pleasant, and sometimes disturbing collection of some thirty-seven poems, some in blank verse, some rhymed, of various lengths.  As always, do not let my star count override your judgement of content. This book deserves your consideration. More on the stars, counting, and my rating challenges later.

Saari is sometimes philosophical in that he deals with life’s trials and losses; for example, in To Live we find this: “Have triumph played on a lonely reed,/ And tragedy soothed by a chorus of strings.” I am reminded of a quote by David Gerrold: ‘Life is hard. Then you die.’ (Google the quoted string for the entire statement.) Saari has been there.

There is a neat self-reference and an expanded simile in Continual Motion. No quotes: I won’t spoil the surprise. In The Way Back we have rhyme, a bit of mystery, and sorrow of loneliness. A favourite.

In Shadowlands we have a bit of enigma, with spooky imagery: “I will be there,/ Following close your course,/ Hidden,/ In the scorching shadows.” If you’re looking for social commentary, it is here in Becoming: “Idealism becomes conformity”. Again in Your Girl, bad things happen to unsuspecting people who become themselves. If you’re scrolling for the tiny carps, there aren’t any.

Introspection occurs in another favourite, the longer poem Ciphers, where we find this: “Passing places you always/ Wanted to see/ Instead of watching them/ Disappear through the rear window.”

There are scary pieces too, Asylum being a fine example, as is One May Morning. This book is not for children, nor for squeamish adults. Again in Alice, we have a personal experience of an old person reliving a long-ago unpleasant occurrence. This poem shows Saari’s power at its best; it seems very simple and it is all quite clear what is happening, while the poem takes you forward on several levels at once. Buy the book and read this poem first.

For personal tragedy in relationships, turn to Nothing More to Say.

Finally, there are some truly fun pieces like Yikes! and At Least It’s Not Raining. The final three poems in the book are haunting and sad.

Given all that, how do I come up with four stars? My personal guidelines, when doing an ‘official’ KBR review, are as follows: five stars means, roughly equal to best in genre. Rarely given. Four stars means, extremely good. Three stars means, definitely recommendable. I am a tough reviewer. Saari’s book easily rates four stars; if you like poetry that is powerful and accessible, you may rate this volume higher. Clearly recommended.

Jim Bennett, Kindle Book Review Team member.

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Book Signing

I am excited to be signing my book, “This Long Trip to Myself,” at Kat’s Book Nook, 750 Paul Bunyan Dr. NW, in Bemidji, MN.  The signing will take place on Friday, September 6th from 4 pm to 6 pm.  Thank you to Kat of Kat’s Book Nook for hosting the event!

Image: Kat's Book Nook

Release Date Approaching!