Everything Voluptuous, by Judy Schavrien

This is the first poetry book that I am reviewing on my blog. I mean, sure, there was The Big Book Of Cards And Toasts For All Occasions, which was promoted as a poetry book, but that was actually a “jingle” book. Classifying jingles as poetry just isn’t fair.
Coming back to Everything Voluptuous, it is a collection of 35 poems and seven drawings and paintings. I have not (formally) been a student of poetry, and I must admit I do not know much about the various forms. Hence, this review will not contain a lot of jargon, just my simple understanding of the poems in it.
The poems have been divided into sections based on the time period they were written in. In the Foreword, Judy Schavrien has mentioned that this is a work of fiction. All these poems have been dedicated to various women (a section each). These poems were originally written for women’s movements – women’s lib as well as lesbian rights. As you can probably guess, that is what piqued my interest in this book, as I am trying to support women’s rights through my blogs. Here is a wonderful line from the writer’s intro: We lovers were setting women free, one orgasm at a time.

Coming to the poems themselves, while you might say Judy has written poems about women with women, I could tell you these would resonate with others as well. These poems use simple language, not overly flowery, and yet if you read them, they will touch a chord within you. Let me illustrate with these simple stanza:

the rainforests are dying there’s no clean water
the folks in L.A. would riot if they could
they set the trend for the country

on the other hand my lover can’t decide
if it’s men or women now
really bothers me.

True, isn’t it, that love is such an all-consuming emotion that the world might be getting destroyed outside, but all that would bother us is the indecisive behaviour of our lovers!

I especially liked the poems How The Memories Open Out, Everything Volutptuous, and everything in the last section, Judy – What the Chessire Knows. The imagery in these poems is rich and vivid. Also noteworthy is the poem Letter. It is filled with pain and a sort of resigned anger. Not explosive, but a sigh-can’t-help-it sort of anger.

As a last note, I would like to mention  that though these poems were written during the women’s movements, they are mainly love poems, not essentially of a feminist nature as I earlier assumed them to be (while accepting the book for review). Nevertheless, it did not disappoint. If you like poetry, you can give this one a chance.

About the Author: Dr. Judy Schavrien is a Psychotherapist, poet, painter. If you wish to read more about her or her work, you can refer to her website www.jesart.net

You can find the Kindle copy here: Amazon

Rating: 3/5

Note: A PDF copy of this book was sent to me by the author.


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