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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Anima by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a compilation of original poetry based on multiple themes that all weave through the same pattern as the focus on emotional experiences. These vary from a comparison drawn between the vivid imagination of a child who eventually sees some of the realities of life can be less conceivable than fiction in A Small World, to Life as a Metaphor, wherein the narrator picks up on unrelated items and pulls them together in a cohesive depiction of how different elements can form the whole of a person, however fragile, complex and unique. All the work is written in a free form where a variety of shape work is used to visually represent the verses and stanzas of the poem.
Anima is a dichotomy of extremes being at once straightforward and easy to digest without compromising the deeper heart that is able to organically force its way through. There is no such thing as poetry that does not in some way link back to aspects of the poet's own experiences. If it turns out that only a fraction of this has passed through Anna Casamento Arrigo's life, then the piece that rings loudest to me as a reader is the poem Little Girl Survivor. Arrigo is profoundly raw and honest which can occasionally make the work feel heavier than its punchy lines display on the page. There are a few collaborations with a musician where the work is presented in song, which is a nice touch. Overall, this is a fantastic compilation of poetry. Very highly recommended.