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Hollow: A Love Like a Life

by Jazalyn

Rating: ***

Hollow is a collection of poetry centered around and inspired by spiritual, paranormal romance.

The poems presented here can be read on several levels, primarily that of unrequited love. However, their subjectivity lends meaning to obsessive love, a new relationship, a break-up, and hidden/forbidden love. In its most exquisitely painful forms, love falls within the framework narrative of a light spirit and dark spirit who fall in love but cannot be together.

The poems have an airy, nebulous feel, whispering with the metaphysical, which is understandable given the otherworldly motivation. Nonetheless, they are accessible and carry a plaintive beauty. All are short, compact, and fairly free rhyming.

They flow nicely and, consequently read easily with some lovely understated, subtly expressed emotion. There is a clear sense of catharsis, albeit tormented, in a number of them and several achingly lovely, yet agonizingly heart-wrenching sentiments. Notwithstanding, I feel there could have been a stronger definition of telling the story of the two entities through the poetry.

The collection is separated into sections that chart the development of feeling and synergy between these two entities. Like the poems themselves, which are conveyed simply, it’s neat and precisely ordered.

Highlights for me include, “Love Hasn’t Died”, I liked the premise of a ‘secret shadow’. “My Most Dangerous Love”, we’ve all been in that thrilling yet undeniably toxic relationship. “I’m Loving Everything of You”, is just a charming poem that taps into the nascent days of being with someone special. “Shield In My Heart”, “(What) I Love In You”, and, “We Lose Our Love In “I Thought”” worked well and were delivered emotionally.

However, although Hollow is an absolute must-read for love that is essentially unable to be returned, there is a slight element of repetition. Some of the poems could have been joined, or absorbed into each other to produce a stronger interpretation of the themes. A touch more imagery would have also been good for visualization and consolidation.

Overall, a neatly considered, well-structured collection of wistfully lovely poems that gently vibrate with bittersweet longing and ethereal angst. Recommended.

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