Posted in Books

Book Review: The Painted Life, by Shalini Samuel

“Life is a great big canvas. Throw all the paint you can on it.” – Danny Kaye

There’s much truth to Danny Kaye’s words. Life around us is painted in different emotions, and each emotion has its own hue. We’re around life as much as life is around us, so our life is painted too. In this collection of poems, Shalini attempts to show us some paintings through her words.

There are a hundred poems in this collection. The first is the cover art itself. The art shows how each of us has many hues and are created from that palette. That’s poetic. To review each poem is not possible. Even if it was, doing so would only take away the mystery. I am not doing that. There are few that come to mind even after reading the collection. I’m going to reflect on those favorite few poems.

The first poem titled Muse is one that stays in my mind. A poet needs a muse, and nature has many ways to inspire and become that muse. It’s one that I’ve experienced. To read this poem, and remember the butterflies and waves that once inspired me, felt nice.

Perhaps one of the shortest poems in the book is called Night Duty. I like this because I can relate to the poem on a personal level again.

To go through life without actually living it is a very sad state. I feel the poem titled Life actually talks of that, but like opening a gift, unwrapping the colored wrapping one after the other without actually enjoying the gifts, or feeling excited.

Another short poem that wowed me was the one titled Veil. I think many of us would be able to relate to that, and it would definitely bring a smile as well.

The fifth and the last poem I would like to feature here in this post is one titled Birthday Gift. I’m fonder of winter than summer, so I could understand the choice of gift very well. It brought a chuckle.

The collection, as promised, covers the palette of emotions. They vary in length too, with some as short as four or five lines; and others almost three pages. Some are deep, and others simple. I liked reading most of the poems, and many brought a smile. Maybe I got a bad print, but seeing the preface between the contents pages wasn’t pleasant. And I didn’t like some poems. However, a poetry collection would be such that the poems I liked may not be liked by others, and vice-versa.

I’m happy to have had the chance to read this collection. I’d definitely read some of the poems from the book again, and admire them.

A Score Of 7 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: The Painted Life
Author(s): Shalini Samuel Genre: Poetry
ISBN/ASIN: 9789385783357 Publisher: Shades Publications

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.

(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
20th June 2017)



Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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