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Beneath the Surface

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Something dark dwells in the deep crevices of every soul. Erna Grcić’s poetry collection Beneath the Surface revolves around the secrets, weaknesses, and monsters that creep beneath the surface of the everyday existence. She deals with those nightmarish eyes that glint in the darkness behind each smile, each long gaze into the distance, each daydream. It’s an emotional and winding path into the poet’s own past that deals with the journey from childhood to womanhood, war, love, ageing, and passage of time.

Kindle Edition

Published April 20, 2020

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About the author

Erna Grcic

1 book9 followers
Erna Grcić is a writer and an educator. Her poetry and short stories have been published in several Bosnian and English journals and anthologies. She has authored a number of academic papers dealing with literature and applied linguistics. Her particular interests lie in successful methods of teaching reading and spreading the love of literature among a young generation of readers. She is currently working on her first fantasy novel that involves dragons and Slavic mythology. Erna grew up in Sarajevo, and she currently lives and works in Dubai. Find her on Twitter and Facebook at @ernawrites, Instagram @__the_scribbler__ and check out what she is up to at ernawrites.com.

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Author 1 book1 follower
April 22, 2020
This is a fantastic collection of poetry that I'd absolutely recommend. I have seen other reviewers describe this work as 'haunting' and I cannot think of a better word.

The author's creativity shines throughout, evidenced no more so than in 'Don't be a Poet', which paints the picture of the internal struggles of being a writer. A counter poem, 'The Reason', sets out the author's own draw to writing, and the juxtaposition between these two works only serves to highlight the conflict in the author's mind that makes this collection work so well.

Pieces such as 'The Sea's and 'Vltava' wrap language so descriptive around everyday experiences that you feel fully immersed in the author's thoughts.

All-in-all, this is a well thought-out, cohesive collection of poetry. It's an easy read because the author is so visual in her language, and the sporadic illustrations enhance the storytelling further - a really nice touch.
Profile Image for Amra.
1 review
April 9, 2020
“Beneath the Surface” is a captivating poetry collection which deals with a range of modern topics in a philosophical manner. It sets its stage in Kraken’s Lair and the stream of consciousness wanders in the depths until it’s Within the Tentacles’ Reach, only to wander further up to try Staying Afloat. Using water metaphors to convey our moods, thoughts, and feelings, the poetess successfully imitates our natural way of thinking. The poems deal with abstract concepts such as the passage of time and idleness, as well as our most inner feelings of anger, futility, love, and loss. After the poetess encounters us with all these concepts she does not leave us feeling helpless. Instead, she uses feminism and beastly creatures to convey our strength and she reminds us that everything we go through makes us one step closer to the surface.
Profile Image for Sabina.
Author 5 books7 followers
April 23, 2020
"Beneath the Surface" is everything a poetry collection should be - immersive, honest, unsettling, soul-searching. The author explores deeply personal themes, like childhood, relationships, war, growing older, as well as more abstract concepts such as cogitation and existential ennui. Erna's poems are suffused with a bone-deep sense of nostalgia. Through her vivid imagery, we witness firsthand the arrested flight of dreams and the occasional monster of the deep breaking the surface of her stanzas. The beautiful illustrations that accompany the text are elegant in their simplicity, an understated burst of art that perfectly compliments the poems. I'm looking forward to reading more of Erna's poetry!
Profile Image for C.A. Farran.
Author 4 books64 followers
April 13, 2020
Where do I even begin?
This book of poetry is absolutely beautiful and haunting.
The vivid imagery and raw visceral emotions conveyed in these pages will sink beneath your skin and tug at the very depths of your soul. The darkest places you hadn't thought you even possessed.
The poignancy of her words will stay with you long after you've finished reading.
Whoever you are, whatever you've seen in your life, I recommend giving this book of poetry a read.
Profile Image for Huanita.
84 reviews
April 16, 2020
Of all written art, I find poetry the most personal and the most challenging to read. I sometimes avoid reading poetry in fear of not "understanding" it. However, poetry is not just a deeply personal process for the author, it is a tremendously personal process for the reader as well.

This wonderful poetic debut has left me feeling completely satisfied. The collection as a whole is thoughtfully structured - I love how the imagery of water is used to convey so many complex meanings and ideas; starting in the very brain where thoughts well up and then tumble with one another, crashing and cascading like streams of water, aiming for the surface.

The sensation throughout, just like water, is one of darkness and depth, fear, uncertainty, shifting perspectives, numbness, cold, loss, suffocation. But! Water also cleanses, regenerates, soothes, rebirths, reinvents, awakens.

I find the poems deeply existentialist, tackling our place and meaning in this world, our decisions to be passive bystanders or active individuals, leaving our mark in the world, footsteps in the dunes for someone else to follow and appreciate. Gender, heritage, sense of identity lost and identity found, as well as nostalgia permeate throughout, almost a remembrance of things past. A refreshing and an innovative must-read!
2 reviews
April 20, 2020
This book is a masterful example of duality. It is extremely relatable without being vague or simplified. It is dark but full of hope. It is like the sea itself: dangerous, but healing. This book is vast, and Erna displays a wide repertoire of poetic styles with the deftness and skill of a master poet. Each poem is different, making for a rich and engaging reading experience. Her writing is vivid and raw, with the intense candor that only the boldest of poets dare to present. This collection will teleport you from the deepest pits of the ocean to the thundering heart of the city. It is dynamic, it is a living, moving thing, like the Kraken itself.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author to be reviewed. However, all opinions are my own.

Check out the full review on my website!

1 review
April 21, 2020
Erna Grcić’s Beneath the Surface deals with our innermost feelings and thoughts. The poetry collection immerses us into a sea-inspired world in which we face our subconsciousness through verse. The collection is divided into three parts which take us on a journey from the darkness of the Kraken’s Lair to the bright surface in Staying Afloat, symbolising our own changing moods and growth. The poems deal with a variety of highly relatable, topics from death and passage of time, to love and femininity. This is a collection of poems that you cannot but read in one sitting and I will definitely return to it in the future. Even if you usually do not read poetry, you should definitely give this collection a chance, because it is truly refreshing and relevant for our time.
Profile Image for Ksenia.
98 reviews
April 25, 2020
"Beneath the Surface" is such an emotional collection of poems. Every time I turned the page, I was delighted by Erna's writing and mesmerized by Alen's drawings. The author invites to a journey into the dark depths of life experience, offering to peek into the mysterious and frightening crevices at the bottom of the heart sufferings. At the end of this intense journey, a reader will put on "The Warrior Queen's" armor and sing "An Ode to 'No'".
Kudos to Erna for speaking about the horrifying siege of Sarajevo in a few of her poems. These pieces filled me with a feeling of tremendous sorrow. I suggest the readers of this unique poetry collection read more about the siege, to feel the scars of people who lived through this ugly war.
This book is a great read. Recommend!
Profile Image for Bella.
251 reviews26 followers
May 16, 2020
While reading the amazing poetry written on these pages all I can think about is how beautiful and haunting this book was. The poet did an amazing job delivering raw emotions that you the reader could also feel...and that's the point. I love how she used water as an imagery for all her different feelings. Her writing will definitely tug at your heart strings. There's just something about a writer who can do that. I, of course, had a few poems that tugged at my heart strings:
-To the Surface
-The Clock
-I lied
-An Ambitious Kid
Another great element added to this book was the amazing illustrations created by: 'Alen Residovic'. They surely added a amazing element to the poems. Almost putting you in that very moment. Overall, a great book and wonderfully written words. Thank you to Erna for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 2 books48 followers
April 13, 2020
Last night I finished a poetry book entitled "Beneath the Surface" by Erna Gracic. I don’t read a lot of poetry, yet when I got the chance to read this one, it blew my mind away. It’s so deep it made me hold my breath at times without evening noticing.

See, there are poetry books that take you somewhere else, yet only for a moment. "Beneath the Surface" has that magic spell that takes you to a strange world, but you keep begging it to keep you longer. The author’s words are enchanting; it’s amazing how powerful they are. She uses them at the right time, and the right place, giving the poem a deeper meaning. No, not a deeper meaning, she transforms static words on paper to life. I felt that way when I was reading this book; you could see your imagination spark to life, shaping itself from her words of magic.

I will not speak any further. I want to hear from you what piece of marvel you brought once you’ve read this book. I’m sure it took you somewhere far and released you back into this world again. So, tell me, how did it feel?
Profile Image for Victoria Williams.
Author 2 books9 followers
September 26, 2020
From start to finish, this book is a body of work so broad and beautiful I cannot fully express its scope within one review. In each poem, the author bears a little piece of her soul for us, and throughout the book was sprinkled snippets of every emotion and feeling that we all experience but cannot ourselves put into words. I found myself picking up this book again and again, taking the time to savor each poem on its own and absorbing it fully before once again being drawn back to her words and into her world. If you consider yourself a lover-of-words, whether poetry or prose, I highly recommend reading this book.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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