Short Poems, Long Tales by Rashid Osmani

Short Poems, Long Tales by Rashid Osmani
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Non-Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Poetry books are generally ignored, unless the poet is famous. By its very nature, poetry is tuned to emotions and feelings in a person. Very often, such feelings are transitionary, and they leave the reader without any residual meaning in their mind, after the reading is done. In this book, Short Poems, Long Tales, the poet conveys a message that is perhaps a bit more lasting. In a way it tries to modify the understanding process and make it more relevant to living in the 21st century. As we embark on a global culture, it’s important to leave narrow views behind and look ahead. Discriminating people, other than ourselves, is very hurtful – more to them immediately and later in time to ourselves. Another parameter addressed is to gauge the actual passage of time. How it leaves us where we are, while it moves on by itself. Universal human instincts is another issue to be concerned about when sharing a heartfelt message. If not, it generally leads people to jump to false accusations when confronting others. The temper proposed by the author in this book is to deal with each other in the concept of live-and-let-live. Even if a message conveyed to us goes against our grain of thinking, it’s better to let it rest for a while before pronouncing immediate opposition. The entire learning from this book of poetry is to enable a more thoughtful and understanding person, in a mildly witty and refreshing way.

Wisdom comes in many forms. Sometimes those forms include verse.
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Minimalistic and contemplative were the best words I could think of to summarize these poems. Sometimes I laughed at the subtle but wry jokes in them, and in other cases I blinked away tears when certain stanzas took me to places I never would have expected them to go. The simplicity of most of the lines made the occasional one that invented a new word or played around with the meaning of an existing one pop out even more than it would have otherwise.

I often wished for more details in these poems. The author tossed out unique ideas to the reader only to immediately move onto the next topic in many cases. For example, “Parsing Fate” wondered how the universe decided who should experience tragedy and why those terrible things should happen to them. If only we’d had more details about that process! This is something I’m saying this as a reader who has a strong preference for minimalistic poetry in general and who would be quick to pick up this book or one like it if I found it at my local bookstore. I would have given it a much higher rating if at least some of them had dug deeper into their subject matter. There was so much potential here, and I do look forward to seeing what Mr. Osmani comes up with next.

One of the things I enjoyed the most while reading this collection was comparing and contrasting the various speakers in it. Some of them had such similar voices that I soon assumed they could be interpreted to be the same person who kept popping up to share new moments from his or her life. In other cases, the speakers were so different from anything I read that I chose to believe they were meant to be interpreted as completely new and different folks. While I can’t be entirely certain this was the author’s original intention, half of the fun of reading this genre is all of the freedom readers have to play around with the clues and come up with our own conclusions about how they might fit together.

I’d recommend Short Poems, Long Tales to anyone who loves poetry about emotions and experiences from everyday life.

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