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Poetry Book Review:
Blue Mist White Rain

By Sha Raaven

blue mist white rain For a self-published book of poetry, Blue Mist White Rain by Sha Raaven is well packaged and high quality. The cover art gives a very good impression of the content on the inside and at the top is a favorable endorsement by published British author Anthony Lund. It's got to be good then, right?

Truth is, I've read better. I've also read worse. Much worse.

Blue Mist White Rain gets off to a fair beginning, but it tapers off in the middle and doesn't get any better. I'd say if it only had one weakness - which isn't true - then it would be that the poet included too many poems, a common mistake. Sha Raaven could easily have cut the collection in half and it would have been a significant improvement.

The one shining strength of Sha Raaven's voice is its light sentimentality, a quality that the poet manages to maintain consistently throughout each poem and the entire work without coming across as shallow. These are not your ordinary "heart" poems.

Many of the poems in Blue Mist White Rain remind me of the soft wisdom of Hugh Prather. Sha Raaven is at her best when she is sticks to her free verse rhythms. When she lulls into rhyme she cascades into triteness and sing-song cliché. Some of her worst poems could be hip-hop lyrics.

It is difficult to choose a best or a worst poem in the book. There are so many that could fit either extreme. But there are just as many that reflect the down-home aortic mediocrity of Blue Mist White Rain as a collection. I offer the following poem to illustrate how close to good Sha Raaven can become without actually touching the crest of the bell curve:

    I'm There Somewhere When I find myself away from you And yesterday's dreams have Become today's memories I look for myself behind faces I look for myself in small dark places I look for myself in Wells Fargo cars I look for myself in San Francisco bars I look behind my shadow And behind people in my shadow And I find myself there Standing in the back of your mind Like time I am aware I am there Somewhere
Interestingly, the best lines are the final couplet of the rhymed quatrain and the poem moves through a natural rhythm that is appropriate for the subject matter. But a few of the lines could use some revising and this is the raw unworked voice that pervades the entire work.

Rarely does Sha Raaven move beyond the obvious, but when she does she has something unique to offer. Blue Mist White Rain is an exploration of the human spirit, touching on joy, pain, and a myriad other human emotions without sounding adolescent, pretentious, or sappy. The stock photos throughout the book are a nice touch, but somewhat amateurish.

Academics will deplore this poetry book; girlie-girls with daisy-made dreams and satin-silk love fantasies will like it. Most of the rest of us might read Blue Mist White Rain if we found it lying around somewhere, but we'd think twice before spending money on it. Mediocrity never tasted so sweet.

Order your copy of

Blue Mist White Rain
by Sha Raaven


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