Hammer of God by Aria Ligi
Review by Stephen Page
Poetic Justice Books
There are many topics covered in this exemplary collection of poems, “Hammer of God” by Aria Ligi—damage, pain, acceptance, healing, and moving on (but not necessarily in that order). There is a back and forth, a skipping around of steps in the healing processes, as there are in any PTSD recovery process. Each section in the collection has its own internal processes order, and each section is in itself a process.
Mx. Ligi’s poems are laudable, her story-telling prophetic, her subject matter empathic and impactive. There are scenes in the book that will shock you, relate to you, or remind you that we live in an imperfect, violent world. This is a book that should be read by everyone, not only for Ligi’s assonantal singing, but to give hope to those who have lost hope.
*Find her book on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and her website: https://arialigi.com
Bio: Aria Ligi is an award-winning poet who has a great love for history and in particular the English Romantics. Her publications include, but are not limited to, The Scarlett Leaf Review, Z Publication’s New York’s Best Emerging Poets anthology, Light Journal, and the Australian Times. She has been a frequent guest on Progressive News Network’s Blog Talk Radio, and Aeon Byte. Currently, she and is the Senior Poetry Editor at October Hill Magazine.
“The Salty River Bleeds” by Stephen Page
Review by Aria Ligi
Page’s collection, Salty River Bleeds, is a two-part parable, one of the lives of Jonathon and Teresa and the other of his ranch, its inhabitants, the environ consisting of his cows, sheep, ibis and such and their struggle against the exteriors (man encroaching on them all). Yet, it is also, as he pictures so beautifully, mirrored with Old Man, who through the simple the challenge of living day to day, is a metaphor for it all. Pages’ work embodies very Campbellesque qualities of the myth told within the confines of free verse, epistles, and alternatively spiced with rhyme. Page is not only a mythmaker he is rancher poet-activist who is wise enough to question his place within the tale, that of hunter and farmer, while portraying in stark terms the cost to those around him from his livestock to the earth, air, those who would shepherd it, and those who would seek to profit from it. This is a fascinating read because it does not shy away from depicting the most hideous of things, such as the roof of a truck slicing through a man’s neck, nor does it distance itself from the beauty that is all around him. Yet, Page does not leave it there, because at the end he returns us to his quiet pondering, that of Teresa and Old Man, leaving us with the mirror image for us all and the unsaid question, are we all not walking that same road, and in that are we not all one and the same?
Publisher – Finishing Line Press
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