Book Review - Permeable Divide by Ellen Rachlin
Reader Views
Book reviews, by readers, for readers 
By Reader Views
Published on 03/17/2018
Not a rhyme game collection, instead a thought provoking one.

Book Review - Permeable Divide by Ellen Rachlin


Ellen Rachlin
Antrim House (2017)
ISBN 9781943826278
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (3/18)

“Permeable Divide” by Ellen Rachlin called my attention by the cover first. I loved the artwork, and the title of this poetry collection was intriguing to me. I expected pages filled with rhyme, and melody as the words played between themselves, but that is not what I found. Instead I found depth, reflective thought expressed in sentences that related or contrasted each other, about all faces of the human experience.

The author shares with readers different expressions of her own thoughts choosing words not because of the melody they play with each other, but how their meanings complement each other. This type of poetry is new to me, so when I began reading, I had to pause for a moment and put some thought into it to figure out what I was reading. But once I decided to abandon the rhyming idea, a whole new way of expression opened up.

Ellen Rachlin presents readers with raw thoughts about the human experience put under her perspective…a unique one. This makes each poem relatable yet thought provoking as the reader reflects about the author’s perception on the topic. My favorite was:


The science of human birth

Seems no different from

The origins of Earth.

Each must wait their turn.

One month is not enough.

For hope to acquiesce to loss.

Failure had the stronger case.

Regret became the final stop.

Shortly after I gave in, I celebrated life.’

“Permeable Divide” by Ellen Rachlin is not a rhyme game collection; instead it is a captivating, deep thought collection that induces reflection in the reader. This collection is not to be read in one sitting from start to end, but should be read randomly when our heart wants to speak to our mind.  Definitely food for thought!