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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Tourmaline by Ginger Tran is a collection of intimate poems that evoke the journey through change and transformation experienced in the soul of the author, that reflect the nuances and the subtleties of our existence. Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, the author embraces this reality and uses it to explore the psychological implications of the human experience. The words in each poem come from a secret, sacred place where the author defines their humanity, a questing mind that grabs at the intangible sensations, the movements of the heart, the perceptions of the soul, and the threads that hold their life together and bind them with humanity. The poems explore a variety of themes, most of them with psychological hints — thought processes, personal growth, awareness, reality versus appearances, meaning, art, being human, and many more.
There is a unique beauty in the language; its simplicity is deceptive, masking the depth in thought and meaning. Words are so carefully chosen that they take on a life of their own, contributing to the rhythm and the symbolic character of the poems. One of my favorite poems in this collection is the “self-psychology” which invites the reader to develop a strong sense of awareness of the inner processes associated with the changes taking place within us: “keep reminding yourself/ that it is the unburdening / of your damaged psyche / that now needs to find / its own way / of perceiving reality…” Ginger Tran is a poet of the psyche, endowed with an innate ability to capture details of the human heart. The poems are short, each featuring a thought, a movement, an idea, and it’s in their brevity that they become even more enticing and provocative. Tourmaline is indeed a poetic gem for readers looking for poems that are intellectually exciting and heartwarming.