Poetry - Inspirational
143 Pages
Reviewed on 01/28/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Michael Froilan is a Filipino-Canadian poet from Scarborough, Ontario.

His collections, which were published in 2021, have received widespread critical acclaim and continue to fly off the shelves on Amazon Canada. Readers have acknowledged the simplicity and depth of his writing style as he explores the diverse range of human experiences, from challenges and opportunities to moments of calm and joy.

Known by his loved ones as nauseatingly positive, nothing motivates him more than progress and encouraging others to make the most of every precious moment.

If he's not writing and Googling what certain words mean, he is dedicated to teaching, reading, training, and enjoying humorous memes.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite

Overcast by Michael Froilan is a collection of poems covering several topics. The theme of self-love and acceptance is prevalent throughout the book. Society and people around us are always trying to make us fit in, but the author emphasizes the power of being self-aware. We all make mistakes and get depressed. The poems talk about these topics as well. They let us know that we are not alone and that the trials and tribulations we pass through are there to make us stronger. The author reminds the reader of a High Being watching over us, and that all will be well in the end.

These poems will arouse your emotions and make you think about life, love, relationships, and beliefs. I loved the simplicity of the words used, which does not in any way detract from the impact of their messages. The poems flow perfectly into the next chapter and make the collection the author's emotional life story. The author paints beautiful scenery with each poem. The imagery he uses is impeccable and makes you think you are there, sharing all his emotions with him. This is a great writing skill. The author showed vulnerability in expressing his emotions, and I applaud him for this wonderful work. Depression is a sensitive topic to tackle and present, but Michael Froilan offered his experiences and thoughts on the matter gracefully. I recommend this book to people who love reading poetry that evokes their feelings. I would also recommend Overcast to people who are going through tough times and need guidance.

Philip Van Heusen

Michael Froilan shares his poetry with us in Overcast. Overcast is an interesting choice for the title of this book. However, I think the title succinctly expresses the tenor of the poems. They seem to be rather sad and infused with doom. Michael appears to be striking out at the injustices he has experienced. He has experienced pain, struggles, and emptiness. However, Michael does not share his sadness to make the reader sad, but to show them that they are not alone in their pain. Pain and sorrow are much more profound when approached alone, but it is slightly easier to face your future knowing that others feel your pain. On the other hand, there are rays of hope that pop up now and then. Never compare yourself to others, nor let them be the basis of your self-worth.

In Overcast, Michael Froilan opens up his soul and allows us to look at his depression. He shares his emotional pain with openness. His longer poems tend to be more down than his shorter ones. However, some of his shorter poems are positive and full of hope. At times his words can be crude and almost vulgar. He uses slang words as if they were nothing. Conservatives may have to overlook some of the words he uses. However, if you can see past the terms, you may resonate with his feelings. This book is Michael’s view of life. He sees the bad outweighing the good. Yet, even in the negativity, Michael can admit that the pains of life are part of the blessings and that difficulties lead to growth.

Clarissa Pattern

Michael Froilan’s powerful collection of poetry interrogates both himself and the reader. The poems question how we make ourselves fit in with society. What effect does it have on our spirit if we do choose to conform to what others think we should be? Will we simply complete the jigsaw, or will we be the outcast missing piece?

From the very first poem ‘number one’, Froilan illustrates from his own life, how our greatest successes are just enfolded into the normality of our life, being a number one selling poet doesn’t stop the dirty dishes piling up. Throughout the work he uses a lowercase ‘i’ for the personal pronoun, which is a constant visual reminder of how we register our own ego and self-importance. Froilan’s poems constantly makes demands of the reader to address their own lives and how they are going to respond to his poetry. He demonstrates several times that he is a guide to the reader, but he is on the same journey as so many of us. ‘scorpion in a bucket’ contains the beautiful image of:

“i’m pulled by the stars

And i’m haunted by my dying dreams.”

Despite the seriousness of the prevailing message of addressing our own self-understanding, there is an interspersion of tender love poems in this collection, and all the poems are often playful, delighting in punning on simple words, and weaving through references as diverse as Jose Rizal and Frank Ocean. In the poem ‘lit crit’ he predicts what his critics might say with the statement of his writing philosophy “i don’t over-decorate what needs to be said.”

In this collection, there are many inspiring lines to pick from, one that particularly struck me is from the poem ‘anguish’:

“when i plummet, i don’t seek sympathy

i seek voltage”

It is a strong call for us to never give up, to always draw on our hidden energy to fight back against the sorrow of this world.

In the final devastating poem, ‘Reform’, Frolian reveals the reason for the questing positivity of his poetry,

“it was a cold spring night

i slashed the life out of my left wrist”

As the phoenix he was able to rise out of his burnt out chaos and his work provides hope we can all do the same.