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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Dreaming My Animal Selves: Le Songe de mes Ames Animales (Bilingual Collection in French and English) by Helene Cardona is a bilingual collection, as the title suggests. Bilingual works always help in widening the reader audience. This collection will appeal not only to French but also to English poetry enthusiasts. The poems take you through a surreal and ethereal world, with emphasis on dreaming and visuals that heighten the surrealist effect of the poems. The poem by Rainer Maria Rilke in the prologue speaks about the influence of Rilke in the poet's style and thinking to a large extent.
Bilingual poems are always challenging because translating and keeping the metaphor of the original intact is not an easy task. The poet has done that here with ease and skill. All the poems express freedom, free thinking, and thoughts that are not chained or bound by any rules and norms. That is exactly how poetry should be written. All the poems are rich in imagery and the visuals are highlighted by the word choices and the author's keen eye for detailing. The poems are dreamy, bordering on surrealism, spirituality, and nice imagery.
All the poems are soul-searching and they enchant you with their mysticism and elegance. The surrealist feel in the poems at times makes them wistful and magical. The cosmic forces of the universe, fantasy, surrealism, dreams, and many other topics are part of the theme in the poems. All the poems are crafted well and each has some interesting concept to share with the reader. I haven't read such a beautiful poetry collection in recent times. They are surreal and ethereal with wonderful imagery.