Review: All The Words I Should Have Said by Rania Naim

I was ecstatic to give this poetry collection a go, thanks to that vibrant cover attracting my immediate attention. But I was ultimately disappointed to learn that the themes being explored weren’t the ones I was expecting. The blurb promises to dive into “the thrills of love, the highs and lows of life, and the challenges of new beginnings.” It’s safe to say, however, that All The Words I Should Have Said is mainly just about love, which is fine if that’s all you’re looking for.

Personally, I went into this excited to explore topics of insecurities, loneliness, and failures in life; not in relationships. And the low-key theme of cheating was another guaranteed way for me to dislike the book. I kept waiting for themes of change, growth, opportunities, and redemption to appear in the collection, but the story left me cold.

On a more positive note, there were still a few bright points in here that left me hopeful for more to appear:

TIMING

“Maybe we meet the right people at the wrong time
because we wasted the right time with the wrong people”

I liked the above because it made me think of this quote I recently read and resonated with deeply: the people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people. 

DEAR GOD

“Dear God,
They say that you give burdens
to those you love
but sometimes I feel
that you must love me too much

Dear God,
They say that you want me to be patient
but sometimes I wonder
how long do I have to wait
for a miracle to save me?

Dear God,
They say you always remember
the ones who pray to you
but lately I’ve been feeling
that maybe you’ve forgotten
about my prayers and about me

Dear God,
They say you’re always listening
but sometimes I feel like you can’t hear me
they say you’re in every corner
but sometimes I can’t find you

Dear God,
If you wanted me to make art
out of my pain
I’ve already created a masterpiece
when are you going to buy it?”

I KNOW YOU’RE TIRED

“You’re tired of pretending you’re okay
you’re tired of saying there is nothing wrong with you when there is
you’re tired of having to lie to people about what’s going on
and you’re tired of pretending to be strong and smiling
when all you want to do is cry
you wish you could just let everyone know what’s
wrong with you
so they can leave you alone
but you know that’s not possible
and you’re tired of living another day
pretending that you’re not tired at all”

This is something that Sana Bakkoush, my favorite from the tv series Skam, needs to hear with everything that’s been accumulating over the past few days.

MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTIONS

“Who do you run to when you’re the one everyone runs to?
Who do you run to when the one you really want to run to
is running away from you?
Who do you run to when you want to run away
from yourself?”

MOTHER

“I roamed the world
looking for happiness and heaven
only to find them
in your loving arms”


All in all, I’d say that though there were a handful of promising poems, All The Words I Should Have Said ultimately failed in capturing my full attention.

2.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying All The Words I Should Have Said, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

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