Searching For The Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by our Inner Worlds by Maranda Russell begins with the dedication: “For everyone who isn’t afraid to search for the truth, even if it means looking outside your comfort zone.”
The book takes a very personal look at difficult topics like death, uncertainty, pain, and fear. In the intro Maranda describes her writing style as “short, blunt, and to the point”; personally I found that strengthened the poems rather than weakening them. Descriptors are concise but meaningful, like “emotional sewage” and “their heads sloshing over with tough questions.”
One short, powerful poem focuses on all-consuming bitterness. Another talks about forgiving someone who only saw the worst in her. One of my favourite poems was On Opinions, and I think it needs to be put on a sign and waved around vigorously as needed:
Everyone has opinions,
but not everyone
should share theirs.
I’m sorry to tell you,
but your opinions –
no matter how closely held,
do not override
You should also check out Stories Behind My Art, in which Maranda shows that being an artist is more about staying true to yourself than doing what others might think you’re supposed to do. The book includes several pieces of her art, along with descriptions of the meaning behind each one. I found having the combination of visual art and words allowed me to see things in the art that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. There was a good mix of pieces that contained profound messages and others that captured some of the simple beauties and pleasures of life.
These are both short books that are easy to read, and I would definitely recommend that you check them out!
You can find Maranda on her blog Maranda Russell.
You can find my other book reviews here.