Sometimes a book of poems can call out to you, shake the leaves off trees and send a shiver down your spine, a reminder that words have power, that poetry is good for the soul, and the beauty of the human spirit is its abiding determination, a promise from within to be daring in the midst of injustice no matter the source of evil. In The Escape, by Ryah, there is a story of rescue, an alchemy that takes place through Art. “You got it wrong/I didn’t envy the blue sparkly ballgown/I didn’t want to be the princess/ I wanted to be free”
With sharp brevity these poems guide the reader on a journey to the other side of abuse “And I soar/ you don’t own me anymore” An inspiring collection that illuminates us with a dauntless playback that will leave you feeling emboldened and full of hope.
—Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas, Editor-in-Chief of The Orchards
There is a sadness characterized to each person, whether it be past, missed goals, lost lovers—the list goes on indefinitely. Rayah’s The Escape, through each poem, shows in clarity the author’s personal struggles in short, often-freeverse pieces that rush off the page in reading, but leave a lingering sense in the reader to explore its personal resonance further.
Rayah’s use of single-word lines—sometimes reduced to a single syllable—create a familiarity catered to the reader: the simple “tiptoe,” “care,” or “push” invite the audience to put their own weight to the words, creating not so much a decided flow to the poetry as it does allow the reader to create their own. It is not often an author allows the mood to be set by its observer, but it is in this way that Rayah creates a flexibility not just in tone, but in meaning. An example: the punctuation of a poem with merely “fate unknown” invites a potential for hope, a fear of repetition, or an anxious uncertainty that only the reader can decide which best applies to themself.
Each poem, nameless, gives no indicator of its direction, and this existence without titles only aids in the loneliness offered by the pieces.
A short review for a short collection, Rayah’s poetry has a home-like atmosphere—sometimes in good ways, others bad, but welcoming all the same—that permit a depressing intimacy with each conclusion, or lack thereof.
—Hypetaph. Editor, Thurston Howl Publications