Say Something


Poetry - General
107 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite

Say Something by Jeremy Clarke is a poetry book that deftly describes the author’s growing up years. As we read in his poems, his life was difficult: a father who was not there, a mother who was mostly gone and came back only when she wanted something from him. Friends that helped him through school, his faith in God, and his grandparents: all the influences in his life that made him who he is today. He is open and honest with his struggles, and we can see there is a tremendous amount of pain.

Many people in our society today, it seems, go through unfortunate childhood experiences such as this. It is not a new thing to be poor, abandoned, lost, or lonely. Much of humanity has these same experiences. But what makes this book really shine is how the author uses few words to express those feelings and thoughts so very well. He doesn’t go into raging tirades of profanity or striking out at others. He simply and gently communicates what he has been through, and he does it very well. I think Say Something by Jeremy Clarke can really help a lot of people—first, of course, for those who are going through exactly what he went through, no matter the age, sex, skin color, nationality, or anything else. Life is hard and this book is a way to show others that even though struggles are real, one can still overcome a lot of the negatives. It is possible. I think others who would benefit would be those whose life hasn’t been as hard so they can in some small measure begin to understand the dark path others have walked. Highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

“As you get older/ The roller coaster/ Is no longer up and down/ It’s more smooth/ With a dip here and there.” We don’t know how tough life can be until we find someone whose life is tougher, more difficult, more unfair than ours. Jeremy Clarke had a difficult childhood, never feeling like he belonged anywhere, but always knowing he was meant to do something big, to be someone. In his poetic tribute to his life, Say Something, this poet shares the journey that eventually led him away from the pain of being unseen and unheard to a place where he could feel the love and the pride of being who he is now. All Jeremy wanted as a child was to be known, seen, heard, and to feel like he mattered. That’s all any of us want. Riches can’t replace the true sense of self-worth.

As a child, Jeremy struggled for his sense of place. Exuberant, he writes, “I always felt/ If I jumped too high/ I would hit my head/ On the ceiling of expectations.” His poems seek relief from the very depths of sorrow and despair, from the pain of losing his grandmother, the glue that kept the family together, the only loving entity he experienced in his younger years, to the escape from the home village, branching out into a world where he could excel, where he could be himself, where he could be someone special, someone important. On his journey, Jeremy also struggles with his faith, but he keeps it close, as it gives him the meaning and sense of purpose he never found within his family.

The title of his collection of poems suggests that the poet wants to start a conversation. “Say Something” are also the final words of his final poem. His poetry is all in free verse, never rhyming: “I never wrote to rhyme/ I wrote to bleed/ To tell the story of me/ To drain this poison/ That penetrated this seed.” Jeremy does find his acceptance later in life, not amongst his family, but certainly within his home community: “Finally, after an eternity of winter/ There was the warmth of love/ It was beautiful.” Some powerful words shared, a poignant story told in free verse.

Vernita Naylor

When you read poetry, what stands out or speaks to you? Are you able to connect with and embrace the author through their written expression? "This is my story. This is about the person you see every day. The person in the crowd. The person in the mirror. This is the story of when you hurt and do not heal. Say Something," says Jeremy Clarke. These poems take you on a true life journey of transition through the author's family lineage. As the reader connects with family members from Elija, and William to Mother and events from Ground Zero and Zone One to Pain That Never Heals, they are seeing into the history, pain, and awareness that Jeremy Clarke exposes from slavery and childhood to adulthood. This book of poems is not only about the journey but executing the power, expression, and embracing change to absorb self-worth. As you read these poems and feelings occur within you, it creates within your bosom the freedom to speak in boldness and in truth.

We think that we're on this journey alone until someone else is confident or brave enough to say something, as the author says. I enjoyed the bliss, transparency, and risks that Jeremy Clarke took to create these poems. Jeremy allows the reader to peer over his shoulder and take a peek into his dysfunction, which we all have within our family and lives, that no one wants to talk about. Poems like I Was Never Enough, Bend, and Left Again give an up-close and personal display of insecurity, biases, and misguided abuse that occurs in the home. But there's hope and it's reflected amongst these poems that there's a light at the end of the tunnel - just believe and walk towards the light. Some people are able to survive and overcome it while others do not. In reading these poems, the reader will see that there's hope. When you're hurting, speak up and say something. Highly recommended.

Andy B

This was a tale told in prose that sums up what it's like to never feel like you're loved but to learn that the truest love is the kind that you give yourself. Much in the style of Joy Harjo's "I Give You Back", Clarke closes with a piece where he mourns his past self, crying out into the world that he will now try to be the man that he himself can be proud of. 5 Golden Stars, I give you, Mr. Clarke.

S.J.Main

Say something is a short book of poetry providing a biographical window into the author’s life. Jeremy Clarke believes that every person’s journey in life should be heard and told. The inspiration comes from within his soul, as does the desire to encourage others to speak their truth, to heal and live.

This book self-published book is a stand-alone read. The work is not lyrical. Instead, it sways along with a set's storytelling notion, beginning with home and Clarke growing up questioning things that many of us just accept.
Clarke retells a story about a time when he only had a dollar in his pocket and was forced to hand it over. He refused, even when a knife was pulled on him. He is a deep thinker, and though the book is not philosophical, it is not just a recount of his life either.

The literature is easy to read and follow. As I read many poetry books, I understand why Clarke decided to make this one unique by using his own life story.

Pao Vilchis

When I was asked to read and review this book I was a little skeptical whether I was going to enjoy it or not. Poetry is very hit or miss for me, so I was definitely nervous. However, I am happy to say that I loved this poetry collection and I can’t believe I had doubts about whether I would like it or not.

"Say Something" is a poetry collection that represents every person's story who never got the chance to tell their truth or wish they dared to live fully in their truth. It is a journey of self-discovery.

I enjoyed this book, it was not the best poetry I have read but something about the personal connection of the author to its work forbids me to give it a lower rating. The poetry is raw and honest. This is definitely a hard-hitting poetry collection, however, I wouldn’t consider it as poetry necessarily. This is more like the author´s story told in really short sentences but I still very much enjoyed it.

This was very hard to read at times and reading this definitely gave me some perspective of how lucky I am having grown up in a loving and supportive family. You can’t help but feel connected to the author and his story, you hurt with him and you are able to empathize with what he went through.

Overall this collection was so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time and I would definitely recommend you pick a copy up.

“We push people to work, but never to dream”

Lathyra

Anybody it's a must-read especially parents with kids to hear the silence in some of the minds of our young ones