By: Anna Casamento Arrigo

What exactly is it which makes the life experiences of a woman so unique and powerful? After all, men have their own series of life events do they not? When pondering such a weighty question, one merely needs to look at the history of human civilization and the female experience overall. While it has frequently been marred by abuse, polarization and disempowerment, it has also seen remarkable perseverance, unity and rising empowerment. Essentially, it is a study in confronting and overcoming seemingly impossible barriers. That in itself is a huge draw! In her poetry collection Woman Strong, author Anna Casamento Arrigo provides a lesson in just such resilience. A beautiful and powerful book which chronicles the life of a woman consistently battling to overcome the odds while still enjoying the sheer beauty of life.

The writing is simply beautiful and aptly allows the reader to formulate images within the mind which match the mood of the moment. This is backed up by the author’s ability to utilize literary devices which correspond to the emotions which virtually flood each page. For instance, the Slish Slosh! Slish Slosh contained in ” I Fight Dragons” uses Onomatopoeia to help make the contrast between the sweet innocence and imaginative tendencies of childhood with the pragmatic existence of adult life. The disappearance of youth. Another key example is the use of Personification and Pathetic Fallacy to describe human emotions. From the calm and cascading nature of “Upon the Comforting Sea“, to the melancholy feel of the nebulous clouds in ” My Mother’s Road.” In all, the author powerfully evokes emotions and spellbinds the reader.

While the poetic writing is indeed breathtaking, it is the overall message which wins the day. Presented as a series of life stages, the poems chronicle the female experience and show the strength and fortitude which is needed to overcome life’s traditional barriers. It is raw, provocative and inspiring. Love, abuse, resilience, sickness, happiness, innocence and aging. They are all a part of this journey. The poems are also accompanied by a series of related photographs and drawings that underscore the main points which are made in the various poems. They also add a distinct sense of class to the collection.

All in all I would highly recommend this book to all adult readers and in particular poetry lovers. The message is powerful and inspiring and is supported by captivating writing which will suck the reader right into an emotional vortex!

5 out of 5 Inspirational Stars for this one! *****