Wanton Thoughts
by Mukta Arya
Partridge Publishing

"The height of happiness, the depth of sadness, the thrill of newness, the joy of craziness..."

Life is a rich series of high and low emotions and adventures in this captivating, hopeful collection of poems that spans international cities and exotic locales while laying bare universal perspectives of youth. Divided into three sections revolving around life, love, and places, with each poem illustrated by frames of swirling leaves that suggest the motion, turmoil, and natural beauty and progression of life experiences, these poems land lightly and easily. They are obviously crafted from a deft and optimistic pen. The voice is that of a hopeful young adult whose path and identity may still be inching into place and whose observations and optimism guide her way, even amid setbacks and disappointments that are cast as fodder for learning and a reason to look ahead to tomorrow.

Recurring themes include the potential for joy and meaning in each new day, the range and breadth of feelings that mark a life worth living, simple pleasures, high hopes, and the incomparable value of human connections the world over. The poems move easily between very small, intimate ideas and very large, abundant views of the world. In the delightful "Little Things," simple pleasures are celebrated: "Writing a post / Eating a toast / Life looks pink / With an exciting link." In contrast are large observations of the color and bustle of world cities that include Mumbai, Hong Kong, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, where the poems suggest loneliness and isolation cannot flourish amid a traveler's immersive joys. Deeper still is the view of "Faith," which refers here less to religious belief than to one's trust in the durability of friendship and the content-rich runway of life's feelings and experiences, in what the author calls "the world of holidays." Fans of uplifting poetry over more melancholy fare are likely to enjoy this collection.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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