book review

Book Review: Weightless, Woven Words

WEIGHTLESS, WOVEN WORDS by Umar Siddiqui is a book of poetic practice & a way of living by learning & listening. Check out what Toni Woodruff has to say in her book review of this indie poetry collection.

Book Review: Weightless, Woven Words

Reviewed by Toni Woodruff

A book of poetic practice–a way of living by learning & listening

I haven’t read a book of poetry with so much personality in a long time. Siddiqui is a positive voice in a sea of negativity. With hope and provocative thought, Weightless, Woven Words asks of its readers to thrive.

This collection is broken into seven sections: Desperation, The Human Condition, Human Connection and Communication, Voice/Advocacy, Perception, Subjectivity/Position, and The Journey.

If there’s a common thread that weaves through this book, it’s found in the search for the human condition. 

The speaker—an extroverted personality with a palpable love for the right poetic phrase—rotates from communicating directly with readers to specific people and even to himself. The poems relate to one another within the sections cleanly, but they also bleed into one another. What topics arise when studying the human condition? It’s natural to find poems of love, of hate, of activity, and of grappling with emotion in a book about something so universal.

This book is filled with unique and important thought. Siddiqui is a fresh poetic voice, and I’m glad to have listened to him. There’s an inspirational and motivational tone that many of the poems take on—starting with a problem and working toward a solution if there is one to how in the world we’re supposed to deal with all of these things. 

The finest poems in the collection, to me, are those that I don’t understand on the first go. There’s a real complexity to the word choice here, and it makes the points, questions, and contemplations razor-specific and easy to sit with for a while. They don’t have clear rhyme schemes or they play with words you wouldn’t expect in the same shared line, and so they slow us down, make us listen. “Run for Cover” and “Silent Choir” are a few favorites.

As with many collections, there are some poems that miss. Simple rhymes and cliches (both in language and idea) can make some of these poems feel unrefined. Siddiqui’s style is best witnessed when he’s racing toward questions and answers regardless of rhyme. The speaker’s personality is loud and an intriguing thing to watch on the page, but his tone swings too hard sometimes and results in moments that feel overly boastful.

In the end, Weightless, Woven Words offers us plenty to engage with. The poems and lyrics are positive as a whole and they transport that positivity over to its readers. Those who are in need of a gentle push in the right direction would do well in choosing this book.

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

Genre: Poetry / Inspirational

Print Length: 112 pages

ISBN: 978-1639884704

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