Published: December 17th, 2018
1. Of a dark, purple-red color;
2. Perpetually beautiful;
3. Indestructible, immortal, eternal.
Amaranthine is a poetry collection by Ami J. Sanghvi which details her six-year, young adult journey of love, hate, pain, anger, discovery, growth, and, survival.
The poems delve into topics of abuse (emotional, mental, and physical) in both platonic and non-platonic relationships; there are also a handful of pieces which describe the aftermaths of surviving sexual harassment, assault, and violence without actually divulging those experiences themselves (the author is still working towards comprehending and penning the vilest parts of her young adult life). The grating scenarios depicted by the poems in Amaranthine almost seem to repeat themselves, as if though the subject is stuck in a cycle of sorts, for a good portion of the book.
Yet, that changes.
After breaking free from the [human] sources of her pain for the umpteenth time, the character struggles to keep her head above the surface. She has not been able to succeed at this venture in the past, but this time, her attempts at recovery result in something she’s never actually known before: a lengthy period of actual self-exploration, self-love, and independence.
The collection persists, and the poems come to portray some of the countless internal and external battles which can follow instances of trauma. Here, the central character also finds herself struggling with sentiments she’d never been aware of before: doubts about her future as a writer, terror at the rapid passing of time, fantasies of revenge and, of course, utter bewilderment in regards to her life.
Still, she begins to embrace her own strength, worth, beauty, and passion and, in that, she finds that she is amaranthine. The poems begin to show her emerging on the other side; she falls in love with mixed martial arts, addressed here solely through boxing-heavy verses, reemerges as a poet, and finds that she is just as much of a fighter as she is a writer. She is just as strong as she is creative and, in that, she is a survivor. She is amaranthine.
“The voice of these poems is clear and unapologetic. I really appreciated the strength of the tone that almost challenges the reader with its clarity and directness. The writing provokes thought and I appreciated the organization and order of these poems. Their structure tells an intense journey of growth that is well organized and tragic. Ultimately, the collection gives the reader hope again that the poet will find solace, peace, love, comfort and self-assurance and the parts of the poems that deal with that really stand out and were my favorite moments. It wouldn’t have had the same impact if ordered differently. These poems are powerful and visceral. I really loved The Crazy and The Lazy on p. 26 because it tells an entire story in just two lines with clarity. I also loved June, p. 49, which illustrated so beautifully the passage of time and the tender growth that happens there.”
— Judge’s Review, the Self-Published Book Awards
“Ethereal and fiery… This collection was a very short read, but the emotions inside were raw. I’ll be thinking about these for days to come and trying to wrestle these evoked emotions. Very powerful, very inspiring… highly recommended…”
— Alex Raines, Goodreads and Amazon.com
“What I really appreciate about this collection is that it is clearly a real and true expression of the writer, her highs and lows, her life and her soul. It was not written to speak to a certain audience or to appeal to a certain market. It was written to convey the poet’s truth. She cuts herself open showing the reader her fear, sorrow, hope, and beauty. Thank you for sharing a piece of your soul with us!”
— Michael Snow, Amazon.com
“This book is a short, simple read but its size does not take away from the deep emotion and raw vulnerability that is beautifully painted on each page. Each poem is unique and tells a story of pain and abuse in such a lovely to read abstract way. I think everyone can take something away from this book, if not just how to be courageous enough to tell all your truth in such a beautiful masterpiece.”
— Willow Gray, Amazon.com
“I enjoyed this collection very much. The poems were beautiful, strong, and vulnerable at the same time. The pain and resilience and growth are all evident in the writing. I would recommend this for anyone overcome [from] trying to find their way out of a toxic situation. I would also just recommend it to anyone in the mood for good and moving poetry.”
— Kelli Green, Goodreads and Amazon.com
“This is just a solid poetry book overall. I love how open and honest Ami was willing to be with this, and each poem feels unique, but they’re clearly each part of her. I think it’s great she also plays with the length of her poems, some being super short and poignant, other’s being longer and feeling a little more like a story. This is definitely worth a read!”
— Nisha Addleman, Amazon.com
“As soon as I finished the preface, I knew I was going to like this book. Through Ami’s poetry, you feel a range of emotions: sadness, empathy, and anger but also inspiration and strength. The journey is engaging from start to finish, and I absolutely recommend.”
— Cayla VanHulle, Amazon.com
“I’m not usually the biggest poetry reader, but this collection was so good it had me powering through in a couple of hours.
The Author has a way with words which expresses deep emotion in a brilliant fashion. Often, unfortunately, taboo subjects, laid bare beautifully.
It’s not an easy read emotionally, but that’s a good thing and it’s perfect for an evening where you want to settle down and enjoy something meaningful.
A special mention to ‘Tsunami’ and ‘Midnight,’ which I found to be my personal highlights.”
— Marie Price, Goodreads and Amazon.com
“If you’ve ever experienced hardship, these poems will allow you to see them in a new light…
First, I strongly recommend you read the preface, even if you’re one of those people who usually skips past it assuming there is nothing worthwhile in its words. Before you can truly appreciate Sanghvi’s work, you have to understand the definition of their collective title.
From the few lines in the opening, ‘Ninety Days,’ I knew Ami’s poetry was something special. There is a little light even in the most heart-torn lyrics of pieces like “Before I Was A Mountain” and ‘Writhing/Slithering.’ Each line and stanza is utterly (ehem) poetic; revealing a strong and inspiring author. Sanghvi uses tragic and gruesome imagery to convey feelings of beauty, hopefulness, and the strength to carry on. It is a methodic style few creatives have ever mastered. However, it is my opinion that these masters are the truest artists mankind can produce.
Reading ‘Vigilante,’ ‘Maid,’ and ‘Slashed,’ I recognized the same feelings and situations that I have experienced myself but have never had the words to so beautifully describe. You may be forced to reminisce about the darkest times of your life but I promise you will be better for it. Sanghvi offers a kind of empowerment to the worst parts of life that I have never before found. Every time someone reads her words, ‘A Boxer Is Born.’ Moreover, there is a lesson in Amaranthine, a kind of warning about the less savory type of people that will try to make their way into our lives but who we should be proactive in identifying and ridding ourselves of if we value ourselves and our own best interest.
This collection is ultimately a lesson to the reader that all of us are “Louder” than our parts, experiences, feelings, hopes, conditions. We are not our “Prince Charming’s, we are what we learned from them. We are ‘[Un]fairer.’ If you are a human being, please read Amaranthine.”
— Holland Parker, Reedsy Discovery