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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Pause and the Breath is a riveting poetic collection by Kwame Sound Daniels. Penned in the structure of sonnets with experimental rhyming patterns, this poetry collection delves into the idea of self as experienced by a narrator belonging to the LGBTQ community. Daniels tackles issues related to identity, parental neglect, homophobia, racial discrimination, gender inequality, and much more. These sonnets also showcase what it means to grow up as a young trans person in America. Despite the heavy subject matter the poems touch upon, the narrative feels primarily like a search for one's true self. Universal themes of sex and love are explored through the perspective of a young black trans person. Each poem brings something unique of its own to make the narrative whole.
Kwame Sound Daniels takes an unusual approach to the traditional sonnet structure, using free-flowing sentences to great effect to bring a personal touch to the poems. Intimate and poignant, The Pause and the Breath is a collection poetry lovers should not miss out on. Daniels has a truly unique poetic voice. An artistic blend of topics related to the self with its societal ramifications as a whole makes the poems feel personal yet universally relatable. Daniels has a firm grasp of vision and uses an evocative amalgamation of words to express that. These poems are not only thought-provoking but also just beautiful to read. I very much enjoyed the collection and if you're a poetry lover, I can't recommend this book highly enough.