Cosmic Girl’s poetry collection Soul of a Diva: A Memoir in Verse is led by the heart. Each page contains the strong emotions of the narrator “diva,” who is direct in expressing her passions, sorrows, and hopes.
These are short lyric poems, usually three to five stanzas. The language is prose-like and direct, as in one of the many poems about romance, “In Your Arms,” which begins: “If I think hard enough,/ I can still feel myself being wrapped/ In your arms,/ Your warm embrace,/ Your loving caress.”
The book is largely about owning one’s own worth, and expresses the pride of coming through struggle, as in “A Person of Value”: “I am the quiet little girl/ Living in a house of drugs and alcohol,/ Learning early on that/ Inner strength is key to survival./ I am a person of value.”
Cosmic Girl also addresses the scourge of racism, proclaiming in “Dodging the Bullet” that “Every time our black men/ In the prime of their youth/ Step out the door,/ They are dodging a bullet.” She effectively repeats the phrase “They are dodging a bullet” (with small variations) at the end of each stanza, save the last.
The work resonates most when offering details that bring readers into the experience, rather than simply reporting on how the narrator feels. For example, “First Time” begins with a lively scene: “Games of jailbreak,/ Tackling each other and/ Ripping T-shirts to shreds.” Unfortunately, most poems lack this detail, opting for abstract summary or less vivid language. Even “First Time” disappoints with a cliché: “Still our hearts beat as one.” The use of more poetic devices, rather than plainspoken prose would also enhance this collection.
Although the poems lack the power of more accomplished fare, readers looking for an accessible book of poetry by a woman who asserts her ability to love and to be fierce will find many relatable moments here.
Also available as an ebook.