A collection of poetry

Poetry - General
68 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2020
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Author Biography

Kara Petrovic is 24 years old and is currently living in Toronto, Ontario. They are a survivor of trauma four times over and are living with a variety of mental health disorders. They have been writing poetry since they were 8 years old. They are a fan of cats, coffee, sunsets and sunrises.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Control is the third collection of poems written by prolific poetess Kara Petrovic, preceded by Beyond Rock Bottom and Forget-me-not. In another deeply personal, soul-baring compilation, Petrovic delivers over two dozen free verse poems divided into three distinct sections, each titled Methods of Coping and numbers as I, II, and III, with a poetic preface and afterword as well. Touching on a range of painful topics that range from mental health issues and drug abuse, to self-harm, physical and sexual abuse, and suicide, Petrovic pours out the struggles of so many into stanzas as unrestricted as the subjects themselves, freeing the prose with punches of enjambment that lend to the strength and power of the words, even when the sorrow behind them is shattering.

Control does an excellent job of shining a light on the darkest moments of a person's experiences, breaching the threshold of traditional taboos and allowing a reader to wrap themselves in a writer's understanding. Kara Petrovic is bold and unapologetic in the verses she puts forward. The stand-out to me is the poem #MeThree, which chronicles a series of sexual assaults and abuses, the effects of which spill over from one “relationship” to the next, numbing the body and soul. I don't think I'll ever look at a cornfield again without remembering this poem. Like the others, it is haunting and wholly unforgettable. There is beauty in the way the pain is conveyed throughout this entire anthology, and I would give this book an entire bucket of stars if I could.

K.C. Finn

Control is a collection of poetry with explicit and shocking themes and was penned by author Kara Petrovic. Part of a strong movement of provocative artwork and dark themes, the author tackles issues such as suicidal thoughts and actions, practices of self-harm, sexual assault and the outlying trauma that patients suffer psychologically after these terrible events have taken place. Written during stays in a hospital’s psychiatric ward, these verses take a raw perspective on pain, and are linked by the common theme of the collection’s title as the author explores the relationship between a need for control and a sense of feeling constantly trapped.

Darkly graphic and provocative in every sense of the word, author Kara Petrovic has created a collection of verses that will touch the mind and soul of the readership, but not everyone will be able to handle the raw and blunt emotional quality of the work. For those who can access and relate to these dark thoughts and psychological explorations, there is much reward to be found in Petrovic’s poetic honesty and immensely clever use of imagery. The exploration of the process of coping with trauma really interested me and captivated me in the graphic imagery that was used to convey the pain of trying to process over and over again. There is, I feel, a beacon of hope amid such darkness too, and the organization and accomplishment of layout amongst the works convey art coming from the most unconventional of places. Overall, Control is highly recommended for poetry fans who are ready to explore some very real and raw themes.

Mamta Madhavan

Control: A collection of poetry by Kara Petrovic is an honest and stark collection of poems that give glimpses of the poet's pain, trauma, and struggle. The poems are replete with self-revelation and tackle her relationship with control. The intensity of her feelings during the darkest phase of her life gives a sense of discomfort and echoes her uneasy emotions as she attempts to bring normalcy into her life. Most of the poems in the collection are heartfelt and sad and reveal a passive and aggressive relationship the author shared with life because of drug abuse, mental trauma, self-harm, sexual assault, and child abuse.

The poet bares her heart in this collection and the poem 'Ghost of Memory' captures her angst, trauma, and helplessness, touching the hearts of readers as she is trying to survive, though she is not made to survive in the wilderness. The poems in this collection will definitely haunt readers with their rawness and bluntness. Every poem reveals a part of the poet's life that she has endured and left her traumatized and mentally unstable. Her style of writing is crisp and minimalist and that makes the poems and their impact on readers effective. This collection enables readers to experience the darker side of life that can ruin a person's psyche and throw them off balance, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Edith Wairimu

Control by Kara Petrovic is a collection of poetry that examines the narrator’s heart-breaking experiences which are characterized by untold anguish. The poems are honest and they explore feelings of self-hatred, depression, hopelessness or pain. In the eighth and last stanza of the poem Ghost of Memory, the narrator writes “ i’ll never tell/ if you look long enough/ you can find something that has/ long since died/ and remains a corpse/ mutilated and murdered/ i hate who i am./ i think that’s the point of all this./ i hate who i am.” Other poems reflect the pain going through the narrator’s mind that results from years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Others such as Sedated Earth and Tangibility show the grief in living a life controlled by various forms of medication.

Phrases in the collection are striking and they bring vivid images to mind such in the line “write words that sting, that feel like reaching in and pulling out a piece of your gut, slimy and covered in blood, lay it out and fold it in a book,” from the poem Frozen Earth. The narrator opens up about their intimate thoughts and deepest emotions, giving a full image of the suffering brought from years of abuse. The main theme of the struggle to attain control of their life is examined through the narrator’s experiences of trying to break free but remaining bound. The messages, expressions, and revelations in Kara Petrovic’s Control will resonate with anyone who has experienced trauma in their lives. It is a gut-wrenching and straight-forward glimpse into the narrator’s mind.

Renee Guill

Control: A collection of poetry by Kara Petrovic is a dark collection of poems written when the poet was in a psychiatric ward. Kara has presented this in three different segments about methods of coping. There are triggers, which she warns you about in the beginning. There are swear words, as well as detailed sexual assault. Kara Petrovic uses different forms of poetry to show her pain. It is a short collection that is easily read in one sitting and gives you a lot to think about.

I thought that Control by Kara Petrovic was extremely well written. I could feel the pain and sorrow. I loved that she warned us about the triggers, which I do not see much of these days. It is really graphic, some of it was a bit hard to assimilate. There are also a lot of swear words. But I loved the cadence and rhythm, which made it a fast read. The way that Kara Petrovic set it up in segments was nice too. I know there are trigger warnings, but if you are suffering from anxiety, depression and have been through abuse, this is actually a great collection to read; you will realize that you are not alone. It is also wonderful to read if you need a good cry, in fact, I highly recommend you have Kleenex nearby. It also gives you insight into what it means when a person is dealing with anxiety and depression.