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Reviewed by Teodora Totorean for Readers' Favorite
Bleeding Gull: Look, Feel, Fly by Raed Anis Al-Jishi is a collection of poems exploring universal themes such as life, death and love as well as more contemporary ones like cancer and autism. The poems are short, fitting on one page, but the imagery and the messages are strong and thought provoking, leaving the reader in a meditative state. Verses like “My habit is being free/ And it could torture me” (A Habit), “Why can’t I/ Have a simple answer/ For a simple question?” (Blindness) or “Faces are deceiving/ Without their masks” (Masks) are philosophical observations expressed in simple but powerful words. The voice is sometimes feminine (when talking about breast cancer or waxing) offering readers many facets that one can identify with. In other words, there is a poem for everyone.
I read each poem at least twice before getting to the next one and so on. These are the kind of poems that need to be taken in, assimilated and consumed slowly. The collection is unitary regarding the style and voice. Each poem is carefully polished so they all belong together in this volume. The poems are sensitive and feminine so I wasn’t surprised when I learned that Raed Anis Al-Jishi a feminist and a human rights poet. Written in free verse, the collection Bleeding Gull: Look, Feel, Fly has a poetic rhythm that incites you to look within yourself, feel love, sadness and happiness, and fly into the abyss of your own universe.