Fiction - Social Issues
148 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Anima by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a compilation of original poetry based on multiple themes that all weave through the same pattern as the focus on emotional experiences. These vary from a comparison drawn between the vivid imagination of a child who eventually sees some of the realities of life can be less conceivable than fiction in A Small World, to Life as a Metaphor, wherein the narrator picks up on unrelated items and pulls them together in a cohesive depiction of how different elements can form the whole of a person, however fragile, complex and unique. All the work is written in a free form where a variety of shape work is used to visually represent the verses and stanzas of the poem.

Anima is a dichotomy of extremes being at once straightforward and easy to digest without compromising the deeper heart that is able to organically force its way through. There is no such thing as poetry that does not in some way link back to aspects of the poet's own experiences. If it turns out that only a fraction of this has passed through Anna Casamento Arrigo's life, then the piece that rings loudest to me as a reader is the poem Little Girl Survivor. Arrigo is profoundly raw and honest which can occasionally make the work feel heavier than its punchy lines display on the page. There are a few collaborations with a musician where the work is presented in song, which is a nice touch. Overall, this is a fantastic compilation of poetry. Very highly recommended.

Jennie More

Anima by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a beautiful collection of poems that speak about a life lived to its fullest, intently aware of the emotions of each moment, each feeling, expression, and action. Arrigo uses each word in her poetry purposefully with an acute awareness of her feelings and those of others. For example, Through Papa's Eyes, she speaks of a little girl watching her father drink himself into a stupor, the time he missed, the dreams he lost, and the waste of that lost time. A Small World is where Arrigo reminisces about a simple time when she only understood the world through her mother's stories. She yearns for that time before the war, before the pandemic, a time before she had to question everything or choose a side. In the poem Where Have The Days Gone? Arrigo reminisces about raising her children and the times of the kitchen sink baths.

Anima by Anna Casamento Arrigo is reminiscent of the past and the simple pleasures that make life worth living. Anima is absorbing, eloquent, and emotionally resonant. Arrigo includes poems about her emotional experiences of living with others, especially her children, her relationship with herself, her childhood memories, and her understanding of watching her parents live and how they loved. My favorite poem is Through Papa's Eyes, and the child's awareness of her father's alcohol abuse and missed opportunities or dreams. She wishes for something different for him. Anima is a beautiful collection of poems I loved reading.

Pikasho Deka

After suffering a life-altering stroke, noted author and poet Anna Casamento Arrigo turned to writing as a form of therapy, finding poetry to be the perfect medium to express her innermost thoughts, fears, and desires. Anima is a thought-provoking collection of poems penned in her own unique vision and style. In this book, she delves into her own life as an inspiration to convey deep-rooted ideas and thoughts that every one of us has experienced to some extent. From metaphorical poems about dragons and unicorns to personal ones reminiscing about loved ones, each poem tells a different story while staying true to the overall narrative of exploring the varying facets of this extraordinary experiment we call life.

Anna Casamento Arrigo's poems are deeply personal yet somehow relatable. Stylistically, I found them to be a breath of fresh air with experimental structures and non-rhythmic verses. Some of them feel abstract, yet others have clearly discernable subject matter. The universal themes related to human desire, anguish, pain, love, anger, hope, and joy add a lot of emotional weight to her words as they make the verses provocative and highly immersive to read. Poems like "My Bipolar Mom" and "The Little Girl Survivor" find a way to pierce your heart and hit your very soul. "Intelligent Women Bore Easily" and "Time's Warriors" were two of the poems that stayed in my mind, and they were probably my favorites from the first read. Anima is a beautiful piece of work that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys poetry.

Joy Hannabass

Anima by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a collection of interesting poetry that goes deep into the heart of the author, giving readers an insight into the author's feelings. Many of the poems are peppered with magic dragons, unicorns, and angels, as Arrigo tells in her poem Once Upon a Fairytale. Some poems carry the heights of the author's being, with an upbeat element that had me praising her, to the deepest darkness of her soul, and urging her to move forward to the beauty around.

As I read these poems, some I didn't connect with, and others I could feel the heart of the author because I understand what she was saying. I enjoyed her heartfelt feelings; small children, and as they grew, were written in several of the poems about life when the children were small. Through Papa's Eyes, as his little girl kept watch, wondering...and wondering. My Loves reflects on the things Arrigo loves and has loved in life. Reminders speaks of things here and now, and of things long gone. I could go on, but this is a small reflection of the poems in this collection. I don't read a lot of poetry, but I was drawn to the book by its intriguing cover, and I find that the beautiful cover gives a sneak peek of what's in the book. I am happy that I followed my instincts and chose Anima. I thoroughly enjoyed each poem. If you love poetry, or maybe you want to try a book of poems, I think you will find Anima to your liking.

Anelynde Smit

Anima by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a splendid example of abstract poetry to convey feelings. Her words dance across the pages filled with desire, hope, loss, and tragedy. These feelings are so deeply personal yet you cannot stop reading. ‘Through Papa’s Eyes’ is a story about debilitating alcoholism and the effects it has on those around, especially a daughter looking to her father. In ‘Intelligent women bore easily,’ she plays with the idea that the intelligent woman is not swayed by the mundane but lives for the exciting and fascinating things this world has to offer. ‘Autumn Calls’ is a beautiful poem summing up everything that we have come to love about the season. You could almost see the leaves turn and the coffee brew. Then we have the sensual ‘Redbud’, a story of how two become one. These works are a peek into Anna’s world through her eyes and experiences.

Anima by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a special book to me. She is a stroke survivor and has used her creative skills to convey what she might not otherwise be able to. I loved the fact that you could listen to the poems as they were turned into songs on YouTube. Her poems are very deep and vivid. What you read is how she feels. The unicorns and dragons are just a part of a deeper story. Her work is inspiring and, for those of us with disorders and setbacks in life, it is living proof that you can use words to overcome any tragedy. Although her poetry might be abstract and modern, I do believe that everyone will find a favorite in her work. I recommend this book to lovers of abstract poetry.