Book Review – Planting Gardens in Graves II by R. H. Sin

Planting Gardens in Graves II

★★★★ 4 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Poetry
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

“My heart is damaged in a way I can’t describe with words and any feeling I’ve had is gone like silence.”

Planting Gardens’ simplicity and forgiveness is resonant – it is a polite but meaningful warmth that carries neither arrogance nor assumptions in its demeanor. When they want, the words can be a kind hand or a pin of empathy in the heart.

I enjoyed and appreciated this book quite a bit more than Sin’s She Felt Like Feeling Nothing. Though it wasn’t a bad collection by any means, I felt Gardens had a disarming pour of heartache into it that gave it more depth. Inspirational poetry isn’t always my thing, but I love the concept of coercing beauty out of ruins, or if you will, gardens from graves.

I’m not keen on the stylizing of the shortest poems. They’re disorienting because some appear to be haiku, but aren’t haiku, and I’ve never favoured the aesthetic of a single sentence poem. It always feels empty rather than artistic to me. Regardless, I did strongly like several of the poems. It’s a good piece.


  • “We were like roses / kept alive for the moment / left to die in the end”
  • “Sitting on the realization that you were never good and this was never love / like a beautiful peach rotten on the inside”
  • “Sometimes I’m eager to feel the warmth of love even though I’ve grown more familiar with the cold hands of heartache”
  • “The fact that no one is perfect doesn’t serve as an excuse to hold on to someone who continues to break your heart”
  • “And here I stand / surrounded by my own tears / knee deep in my own demons / reaching for the same hand who pushed me over the edge”


[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

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