SERENITY POEMS by F. S. Yousaf – a review

Serenity Poems
Serenity Poems


I’ve read this collection a while back, as an ARC, just as it was coming out. Without any spoilers, I am sharing my thoughts.

When I stumbled upon this collection, I was sceptical to read it, because for me, poetry has a great ability to slip into pretention. Truth is, I didn’t know anything about the book, the cover was what got my attention. Together with the title it made a beautiful and captivating framework for the art in that collection. I was just curious, I thought maybe, let’s give it a try! Soon after I started reading, I started adding bookmarks for my favorites and even sooner I gave that up because I realised I bookmarked the whole collection.

Honestly, I loved this book! It spoke to me so simply, it felt like a conversation, although the author was sometimes directly addressing someone – in those parts I felt like an observer that appreciated just being a part of it. I had a window to author’s emotions because he was so sincere in his expression, so open and true. The main reason why I was so amazed by this collection was that I read these poems in my own voice. The author really spoke in my name. I literally stopped at some of the poems and thought: who told you that? Like, how do you know that about me?

I did say I stopped looking for my favorites, but I would still like to show some of the poems, just talk about them for a bit. I won’t be showing the whole poems because obviously I don’t want to spoil it. I just want to talk about their concepts. The collection is divided into three parts: Acceptance, Hope and Tranquility, which are the feelings and desires these poems breath out. These are also the feelings I long for. I might not have already reached that point, I don’t have every puzzle connected, but I am happy with the state of mind I am in right now. Hope is one thing that never failed me, nor did my stubborness. I am yet to find my peace, but I’m getting there and it is a wonderful journey. Serenity gave me a hand in that, I found solace in the verses. I understood the author’s feeling just like I felt he understood mine. Maybe it’s a universal thing that everyone can relate to. I don’t know, read it and let me know.

Every poem worded perfectly

My first bookmark was page 8, a poem called GIVING TO EACH OTHER. The concept of love for me is really scary.

that frightens me enough to distance myself.

F. S. Yousaf

I can go to extreme lenghts in denying someone’s love for me, too. The next poem maybe explains this better. DESERVING / UNDESERVING, my words if I could ever choose them properly. I made it very difficult to love me.

Another tone has a poem called ONE WITH THE MOON. It reminded me of a Chinese folk love story between the Cowherd and the Weaver. For some reason the tone and the emotion of the poem brought vivid images of this story, the sentiment is the same, at least for me. It speaks of extatic  happiness and longing, uncertainty.

I like to tell myself that regression is normal. The author advises that we let our souls speak. Let’s take time to retrace our steps even, anything we need to find a safe footing. There was a long period of my life that was filled with self-depricating, dark and hopeless thoughts that affected my actions, my ways, my whole life. Thankfully I found my footing. I don’t know how I got here, but I’m thankful I had the chance. My legs are still weak, but the past doesn’t look like a dark shadow preying on me anymore. I can even step back and reminisce. Learn and grow and understand. I allowed my soul to speak. Her voice is still shy, but I can hear it. And it shines with the faintest shade of hope. LET YOUR SOUL SPEAK, I invite you, too.

The author talks about so much; this collection is a reminiscence of every mayor feeling a person can have. He talks about past lovers and pain, doubts, insecurity, past and present, hope for the future. Sometimes it’s not even easy to name those feelings or recognize them. Sometimes it feels like you don’t feel at all. When you’re trapped in a state of numbness and the past and future don’t exist, there’s just this moment of dullness and uncertainty.

My foot stuck in wet cement beside 
ongoing traffic, 
all moving along while I do not  
F. S. Yousaf

I think that’s a moment when you need to move forward. That is you being on the last stop on the train of one period of your life. Time to take another train. In the last part of YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF, author allows himself to hope for a change. It will happen, at its own pace. Kind of in the same note goes EMBODYING ART, still on the topic of accepting our emotions, allowing ourselves to be empty for a bit. It’s the most dreadful thing, but consider it a chance to fill yourself with something new and better.

I said already that the author has this capability to transfer my thoughts onto paper and into this collection. I don’t think I’ve sensed this more than I did in INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS. Every single verse is everything I ever tried to verbalize. I don’t even need to talk about it. You’ll see it for your own when you read the poem. The energy I want to follow is the one brought in SUFFICIENT. I’m not even mentioning the beautiful metaphors in the collection. I need to praise it more. You’ll find wonderful examples in this poem.

 And it comforts me to know

how much I can truly help myself.

F. S. Yousaf

This is a true and wonderful revelation: you can help yourself. It took me long enough to realise this, but now I’m owning it. There’s this little poem called PEACE EXISTS IN YOU that talks about this. I turned a few more pages and stumbled upon AWARENESS, another poem that is the direct continuation of my own thoughts. I’m amazed by how the author voiced this state.

In the end, I think I’ve found a form of art that voiced my thoughts and emotions. It’s a bit scary how accurate it was. I feel like these feelings are private because the experiences that lead to them are private. It should be entirely your own, but than you realise that your walk is your own, but the lessons are for all, I guess?


At the very very end, I want to thank NetGalley for providing me with this book. It’s a site I’ve discovered a while ago and I’ve been loving it ever since. Now, this isn’t a paid promotion nor do I need to mention NetGalley, but when I find something good, I can’t keep it to myself, I have to share it with everybody. So, I’m just suggesting you to check it out. 🙂 

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