Finding Her Being Her Nilam Patel book review
book review

Book Review: Finding Her Being Her

FINDING HER BEING HER by Nilam Patel is an enchanting collection that centers on the complexity and beauty of being a woman. Check out what Jadidsa Perez has to say in her book review of this indie poetry book.

Finding Her Being Her

by Nilam Patel

Genre: Poetry / Women’s

ISBN: 9798218225353

Print Length: 148 pages

Reviewed by Jadidsa Perez

An enchanting collection that centers on the complexity and beauty of being a woman

Nilam Patel’s Finding Her Being Her explore themes of grief, motherhood, self, the loss of childhood due to familial duties, and more in relation to womanhood. 

With drawings interspersed among the poems, the book moves forward in a beautiful symbiotic relationship between art and language; it makes the reading experience captivating and real. The poetry tends to be on the shorter side, but it makes up for it in dynamic language and imagery that delivers important messages. Each poem breathes life into women who have been historically silenced and sets a path for a future generation to be empowered.

There are a lot of great things going on in this collection, but one of my favorites is the poetry’s shape and form. Patel matches atmosphere with format in poems like “we lower our gaze, ”where the stanzas start off long and get short near the end. This signifies a bright flame eventually snuffed out, similar to that of women sometimes sacrificing their career to take care of a family. Another standout is “secrets,” a poem that completely deviates from others, formatted as a numbered list with actionable steps to better one’s life. Poetry is a response to issues, but in this case, it can also be a way to combat those issues directly.

This collection excels when it comes to mother and daughter relationships. In one poem, “to have a,” Patel subverts expectations and talks of having a daughter as a privilege, a conversation too often saved for having a son. In another poem, the speaker laments how she’s taught her daughter to be kind to everyone but herself. These works feel especially personal and vulnerable. Once a daughter herself, the poet handles this topic with care and personal experience, including references to her own childhood and her relationship with her daughter. 

Many of the poems are resplendent, but some feel too short and a bit vague. Poems like “and we accept” and “To live” lack grounding or present ideas that we’ve read in other poems. Patel thrives most in her variation in form and shape, and I would have loved to spend even more time with creativity like this. Finding Her Being Her combines sharp, creative poems with thought-provoking art to unite women and further the ideation that we will not be silenced.

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