The Ache of Healing! 105 Sonnets of Love and Contemplations is a poetry book by Christine Maalouf Abi Najm that deals with sometimes painful human situations in an empathetic way. Every poem uses the sonnet format and the book’s four sections discuss romantic love (Roses and prickles), personality types (Spirits and souls), locations (Places), and feelings about God and life’s purpose (Contemplations.) Roses and prickles is the longest section with over 40 sonnets and it shows a kaleidoscope of emotions about love, including anxiety and jealousy. Places is the shortest, sketching in verbal watercolors of hometown, immigration, and war. The other two sections provide thoughts about the meaning of living a life that’s often very flawed and pensive reflections on types of people.
An interesting book, The Ache of Healing! 105 Sonnets of Love and Contemplations shows a good ability to apply the sonnet form to describe ordinary people experiencing real life. I found each one of Christine Maalouf Abi Naim’s poems told distinct stories in small nutshells that capture emotional moments in time. Each one added more to the book until it was a flowing river of people, places, and memories with the substance of a novel and the terseness of music. One detail that adds tremendously to the poetry as well is the personalized, often symbolic black-and-white picture that accompanies each sonnet and emphasizes its meaning. Through poems like “Tipsy!” “A cheater,” “His hair became white!” and “At a crossroad!” the author asserts her faith in God while remaining authentic to our troubled world and describing that world in a way that brings it close to home.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.