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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
XI: A Collection of Poetry on Being Human by Andrew Zaragoza will inspire you to find meaning in your own life. This poet draws from his real-life experiences of confusion, adversity, imagination, family, friendship, dating, determination, art, music, and much more, to help his readers. Zaragoza isn't shy about describing what his life was like, and it takes courage to open up your soul so that others can learn from it, and perhaps heal from it too. A lot of poetry is highly abstract and difficult to grasp--especially subjective poetry. But this poet writes in a personal way about things most of us can relate to--some of the poems are straightforward in simple language; others lyrical, empathetic, and literary--but all very accessible. His poem about gold is one of my favorites in this collection.
In a way, this book of poetry has the intimacy of someone writing you a personal letter or speaking to you on the phone or across a drink in a coffee shop. The writer isn't trying to go over your head--he's actually trying to tell you something special and inspiring about his life that you can use in your own life. If you've ever felt alone in a situation or felt like no one understands or can relate, this book of poetry shows the similarities we humans share. Besides poems, there are questions about the poems to reflect on at the end. As you read along through each poem, you get the feeling this poet knows he needs to share his gift with others, and help others with it. If you can call poetry therapeutic--and some believe it is--XI: A Collection of Poetry on Being Human by Andrew Zaragoza is one volume of poetry you'll want to keep on hand in good times and in bad.