Evens and Beginnings

A Collection of Odds and Ends

Poetry - General
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 10/08/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Alex Ndirangu for Readers' Favorite

Evens and Beginnings is a fantastic collection of spellbinding poetry written in a pure, occasionally harsh, raw, but fascinating writing style that intriguingly addresses many profound thoughts that represent life to the fullest. True love: is it genuine or simply an illusion? Why might later hate, suffering, conflict, and rejection take the place of the love promise "until death do us part"? Is there really a need for you to worry about whether your family or children will be all right if you pass away? Do you need to consider whether you made others happy while alive? If not, is there any justification for regrets? Remo Perini begins by explaining why he wrote these poems and to whom he dedicated this collection. Remo introduces you to his mother at this point, and you will learn about a strong-willed, tough woman whose love for children and enthusiasm will make you smile and warm your heart. She's blind at ninety, but she wants to drive a car one of these fine days, and she's quick to make a joke.

"Tomorrow's Yesterday" was my favorite poem from the collection. Through this poem, the author encourages us to take risks that will lead to a better tomorrow. I appreciated the scene in which Remo Perini encouraged us to throw caution to the wind, be brave, and take a chance. This is the only way to realize your dream and fulfill your quest. "Till Death Do Us Part" was my second favorite poem. In this poem, Remo shares insightful knowledge of the marital institution. He advises couples to be cautious about who they choose as their spouse. At this point, Remo encourages spouses to work together to achieve the goals they both aspire to. In this poem, I think the author did an outstanding job demonstrating how tired love can harm any relationship. I liked how the author organized his work. He included a background that was unique to each poem. This feature elicited emotion and expanded my knowledge of what was going on. There was nothing about Evens and Beginnings that I disliked. Remo's verses touched me deeply, and I hope they do the same for you. Enjoy!

Pikasho Deka

Evens and Beginnings is a collection of thirty-three poems by Remo Perini covering a wide array of subject matter. The book opens with "This Is," a contemplative poem marveling at the wonder of creation. "The Profit Prophet" is a sharp critique of the relentless pursuit of material possessions that bring neither happiness nor fulfillment. "Nobody" follows the everyday life of a broken man lost in the pit of despair and loneliness. "Our Country 'Tis" lays bare the faults, struggles, hopes, and dreams of America as a country and what it strives to be. "'Til Death Do Us Part" speaks of the slow deterioration of a relationship built on love and trust. "Calamity and Chaos" delves into the rigors of our day-to-day lives filled with stress, anxiety, and anger. "Mirror" encourages readers to look twice into their beliefs.

Evens and Beginnings is a thoughtful and poignant poetry collection that leaves you with a lot to think about. Remo Perini's mesmerizing verses will strike a chord in your heart and force you to introspect. Stylistically, the poems are experimental, with non-rhythmic verses and non-traditional structures to the organization of said verses. While some of them have clearly discernable topics and subject matter, others feel more abstract. Despite the similar underlying theme of the nature of existence and the exploration of the human condition, every single one feels unique and brings something of its own to the narrative. Although I enjoyed them all, "Our Country 'Tis" was probably my favorite of the bunch. Highly recommended to poetry lovers.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Life can be hard, simple, complex, emotional, or everything in between and beyond. How many words does it take to express the wide expanse of life, to define it? Or can we define life? A poet, an author, or a master of words can certainly try. Poet and author Remo Perini defines himself as a wordsmith of sorts. In his Foreword, he writes: “I love words, and love to mold not only the phrases and thoughts they combine to build but mold the words themselves.” With words, the pen becomes mightier than the sword and all forms of expression can unfold and paint a lively, unique, compelling picture, as is apparent in Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends. After all, as the poet explains, there is something to be investigated and something to learn.

I’m intrigued by Remo Perini’s title, Evens and Beginnings. Free verse, lilting rhyming verse, epistolary verse, this collection is a mirage of poetic happenings and styles, just as the title suggests. The sentiments express life in its fullness, spanning the wide panorama of emotions from pure joy to heart-breaking sadness, from love to disappointment and disillusionment. The poems are pure, raw, and sometimes harsh, reflecting life in its fullness. There are simple pleasures, too. Like music: “A tune is tasted, tingling time./ To an open ear, a taste of brightness,/ And absolute abounding rhyme.” Perini begins with a touching dedication to his mother and all she was and still is; a creative force that set the standards high for both her sons, especially the poet himself. His Dedication and Foreword read like a brief memory that is continued in his poetic renditions. Spellbinding and thought-provoking, this collection of poetry might be the odds and ends that its subtitle suggests, but isn’t that a metaphor for life?

Jennie More

Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends by Remo Perini is a beautiful collection of poems about love, death, divorce, capitalism, loneliness, suicide, finding peace, frogs, and so much more. The poems are all significant, mainly speaking about the journey through life and how all seek to find purpose, how some find it and others don't. It's a mixture of short and long poems that keeps you engaged. There are a couple of poems that stood out for me most. The Profit Prophet is about gaining wealth at the expense of your soul. Tomorrow's Yesterday is about taking risks and being courageous, so you have no regrets. Calamity and Chaos are about finding peace within ourselves amidst the world's stresses. Nobody is about a man who is alone and lonely and is considering suicide because he has nobody with whom to share his feelings.

Evens and Beginnings by Remo Perini is deep, eloquent, and meaningful. Perini touches on the trials, triumphs, and hurdles we all face. I enjoyed reading this book. Every poem is special and unique. Perini beautifully articulates his perceptions of life experiences that are relatable. The way Perini envisions these experiences captures the beauty of even the darker and trying emotions. The images Perini included to accompany each poem were carefully selected to complement the poetry. I think Perini is a good writer who can communicate positive and negative emotions charmingly. This book is filled with emotionally resonant, profoundly thoughtful, contemplative, well-written, well-conceived poems, and I enjoyed reading them all. It was a pleasure reading it.

Vincent Dublado

Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends by Remo Perini is a heartwarming collection of 33 poems that the author dedicates to his mother, Betsy Catherine Holden Perini. A work of love that spans decades, this anthology is infused with varying emotions and love is the most notable. As a poet’s life influences what he writes, it is recognizable from this work that the author has a strong sense of family ties and a keen observation of what makes us human through our affective expressions. Perini admits that he is not a student of poetry and does not actively consider meter and structure. However, he does possess his own feel for the craft, as reflected in his works. In his poem, This Is, for example, an ear for rhythm in verse is evident in the way he puts his lines together.

Remo Perini writes in his Dedication that his beloved mother has continually made suggestions on how to improve this work of poetry, even asking important questions as to who would want to read this, and why would anybody buy it? This book will find an audience in anyone who loves reading verses. Perini writes about topics that will make you smile as well as those that will make you think, feel sad, and then accept it as a part of life. From frogs to life quests, these verses convey metaphorical philosophies that strike you straight in the heart. I understand that Perini also chooses to use his own mechanics to deliver the best effect for his verses, and if it works, then it’s fine. Overall, Evens and Beginnings is a wonderful piece of work.

Philip Van Heusen

Sad, intriguing, happy, strange. These are words to describe the poetry of Remo Perini in Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends. By definition, poetry is very subjective. People either love the poem, or they don’t care for it. There are rarely opinions in between. Some of the poems in this book are home runs, while others are grounders. That is the life of poetry. I recommend you read this book and judge for yourself. Remo’s stated intention is that he writes to express a feeling. That he did. You may have the same feelings or feel indifferent, but you will feel. There is no central theme to the poems. They are each a reflection of Remo at that moment. The next to last poem tells of his dad’s impending death. It is a gem that needs to be kept.

Emotions are best written as a poem. One cannot capture the true essence of a feeling in prose. The poet knows and shares that verse is the language of the emotions of life. Remo Perini does justice to his emotions in Evens and Beginnings. Grief is hard to express except by tears and poetry. This book shares grief as the loss of life and loss of relationships. Prose would dig into the thoughts and how the mind develops emotions. That would never do justice to the complexities of pure emotions. On the other hand, poetry does not explain how. It just shares feelings. Good lyrical verse allows the reader to share the sentiment. Reading these poems by Remo will allow you to feel what he feels.

Jamie Michele

Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends is author Remo Perini's anthology of works pulled together to form a full volume. As the title suggests, the topics and themes vary, but unlike the title suggests I did not find any that were odd and was a little sad when it ended. Maybe that was a little cheesy, but I'm not the poet - Perini is. This is an impressive collection with many of the poems constructed with rhyme, which is a technique that is not as prevalent today as it was in the past. The Profit Prophet uses alternate verses with a rhymed end word in a four stanza ribbing of what humanity has given up in exchange for something fleeting and, ultimately, unimportant. This is just one of many themes in a collection full of meaning.

“Could spreading rhyme decrease crime?” Remo Perini asks this question in the poem The Pulse of Peace, and it is clear that Perini's messaging in Evens and Beginnings is intended to be thought-provoking and he accomplished that. I was surprised by the illustrations which are all vibrant. Frightmare has an exquisitely black and deep, dark jewel-toned blue image of a rose encased in a glass cloche that is a haunting decoration for the poem's lyrical words about lingering in the dark with one's fears, and the relief of them disappearing with the rising of the sun. This anthology is an excellent showcase of Perini's talent.

Asher Syed

Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends by Remo Perini is a compilation of original poetry totaling “Thirty-three and one third (33 1/3) Poems”. The book is very sweetly dedicated to Perini's mother on her 90th birthday, to whom readers are given a lovely introduction with pictures of the woman who shaped Perini. Most of the poems do have a rhyme scheme but this is accomplished through free form, allowing Perini's verses and stanzas to flow without constraint. The topics are as varied as the tone of Perini's work, ranging from a fluid and concise ode to the candle flame in Candlelight to the storytelling narrative in verse of Strumming On The Old Banjo. Each piece is accompanied by a full-colour illustration of photography or graphic with multiple contributors of art listed in the book's backmatter.

I really enjoy good poetry and am particularly fond of collections that mix the work up a bit, and where pieces that require more emotional energy to comprehend are punctuated with less exhausting but no less entertaining works. Evens and Beginnings by Remo Perini delivers and when combined with the gorgeous art he selected to accentuate each poem, the result is almost wholly immersive. The absolutely stunning imagery that complements the poem Raining breathes life into lines like, “The weather is; Emptying its wonder, Spitting a fragrance; From the looming void.” My personal favorite is the acrostic poem Godzilla Misunderstood, where the letters of the titular subject's name form the work as a whole. It is also a testament to the poet's talent that I can feel genuine sadness for the legendary not-really-a-monster. Very highly recommended.

Diana Lopez

Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends is a poetic anthology. Remo Perini is not afraid to express his emotions of heartbreak and disillusionment, but in describing his perspective of the world, he also relates happier encounters. Perini does not idealize love. He writes about how feelings change over time, maintaining a pragmatic view. He searches within, analyzes his thoughts, and expresses them in concrete ideas that reflect his power of observation. He describes personal experiences and shares his philosophy of life through poetry. He teaches readers to value the moment and dare to take risks to discover a new reality. These poems also have a spiritual perspective, reminding us of the importance of searching for purpose, always with a clear objective in mind.

I found Evens and Beginnings to be a fascinating book. From the moment I saw the colorful table of contents, I knew it would be a work with thought-provoking subject matter. You can tell that Remo Perini is a very creative person. I enjoyed the striking backgrounds in the poems because they allow you to go deeper into the concepts he describes. Perini covers many themes, from descriptions of brief moments to complex emotions. The content is helpful both to entertain and to reflect on. His poetry has many forms and he does not limit himself to one style. Perini likes to explore a variety of rhythms and this is a good choice for poetry lovers because of its diversity. Through his work, Perini shows the reader that harmony is everywhere around us.

Joy Hannabass

Evens and Beginnings: A Collection of Odds and Ends is a collection of poems a young man writes for his mother. Remo Perini starts with a dedication to his mother for all of the work she accomplishes during her life, followed by a foreword that tells a bit about the author and his life. Remo hasn't had the success of his older brother, so in this book of poetry, he wants to give his mother something special and something he is good at. Words. In this collection of poems, you will find many topics: how the joy of music gives a taste of brightness and renders gladness, and confusing daydreams when you cannot sleep, to name a few. There are long poems and short ones too, and all are filled with unique words and phrases. There are sad poems and there are happy ones, and you are sure to find poems to interest you.

I thoroughly enjoyed this unique collection of poems in Remo Perini's Evens and Beginnings. I have a few favorites I'll tell you about. Raining is one I like because of its unique wording as in, "The weather emptying its wonder, and spitting a fragrance from the looming void." As I read Our Country 'Tis, I was drawn in by the truth of what this poem is saying. Remo Perini does a very nice job of telling where our country is today and gives ideas on how to keep our country as great as we have known it. Godzilla Misunderstood is an interesting poem that I enjoyed and you will need to read it yourself to see what it is about. And my favorite picture in the book is the little monkey looking in the mirror in the poem, Mirror. Believe it or not, this is a small touch of the many poems and their topics found in this book. If you love poems, Evens and Beginnings by Remo Perini is for you. I encourage everyone to check out this book of poetry and try reading something new. I know you will enjoy it.