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This book is an attempt to ask the universal questions related to the human condition in the dynamic of life: the parting from loved ones, the irreversible changes brought about by aging perceived mainly by the bystanders, the consoling power of the memories of childhood, the never-withering desire to be understood and loved, the fears and the hopes for a better tomorrow, the firm belief that everything that happens to someone is not accidental.

These questions come to everybody but are asked loudly, with the hope to reach the souls of the readers by the author of this book. The answers to these eternal questions are always open.




The US Review of Books

The Evenings and the Mornings
by Ilya Sapozhnikov

book review by Mihir Shah

“But inside of me, a little boy is crying, scarred and lost Between the cold stone walls of reality.”

Sapozhnikov’s poignant collection delivers captivating storytelling and thought-provoking observations through poetry, offering up a comprehensive snapshot of time and how one responds to the inevitability of aging. At its core, the work is an expansive effort to peel back layer after layer of worldly experiences to uncover the unfiltered joy of the human spirit. Fittingly described in one of the opening poems, this peekaboo with time will inevitably be a losing effort; however, the speaker dives into an assortment of complex yet vital concepts including, but not limited to, embracing change, understanding our limitations, dealing with fear, and finding a balance between the outside stimulus and the spirit within.

Sapozhnikov uses pinpoint metaphors and imagery to paint a portrait of the past. Specifically, he portrays life as a memory box where, as one ages, the memory box is opened more and more frequently. In this compilation, the strong memories of Mom are best captured by poems like “3,” in which the speaker’s memory of a “half-peeled red apple” and the “green velvet tablecloth”’ immortalizes the speaker’s childhood. Similarly, Sapozhnikov compares the end of life to a door that parents and grandparents shut behind them and lock with a key, a key that will be found at the end.

Though the compilation has no concrete poetic structure, the poet’s expression of thought and emotion endeavors to encourage being conscious of whether we are being truthful to our inner spirit or hiding that version behind a veil of fear. Amidst the many introspective poems, the poet dwells on history and its impact on him, from the Holocaust and World War II to the death of Stalin. Through a strong command of poetry, Sapozhnikov exquisitely articulates a reality of how one can age gracefully and be fulfilled as the game of peekaboo comes to a close.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review


Pacific Book Review

Title: The Evenings and the Mornings
Author: Ilya Sapozhnikov
Publisher: XlibrisUS
ISBN: 978-1-9845-4231-1
Pages: 96
Genre: Poetry
Reviewed by: Tara Mcnabb

Pacific Book Review

In an emotional rendering of family, love and loss, The Evenings and the Mornings, uses poetry to examine the human condition from an immigrant’s perspective.

Having immigrated to the USA from Russia in 1991, the Ilya Sapozhnikov has unique experiences to share from growing up as an immigrant in a foreign country. This is his first book of poetry, and it’s already safe to say that the author has a talent for metaphorical expressions. The universal themes presented throughout the book ensure that readers from all walks of life will relate on some level; whether it be on the subject of childhood memories, grief, or religion. Although there is a general melancholy mood in most of the poems, it is also a feeling of remembrance, of times gone by, and sometimes of regrets. It is about the love we carry in our hearts for our deceased parents or family members as we continue our journey alone.

Accepting our mortality is one of the heavier topics the author tends to focus on. He doesn’t hold back in expressing his frustrations with getting older and his struggle to reconcile his aging body with his youthful spirit. There is a subtle sense of resentment at being helpless, with no control over the continuing march of time. For most people, getting older tends to trigger nostalgia for our past, no matter how troubling it may have been. We long to know our ancestors; how they lived, what they believed, and how their actions may have shaped who we are. This is certainly true of this poetry collection, and the author’s sense of reverence for his parents is both touching and heartbreaking: “…. When he finished the story, The warmth of his hand and the reassurance of his protection— All this is alive in me today, Sixty-five years later.” There are vivid descriptions of the author’s family history and of WW. One particular poem is devastating in its detail of the terror inflicted by Nazi Germany. Several family members were killed during this time, and the sense of loss is deeply felt. Yet there is a surprising tone of resilience and pride from having survived such a dangerous period which is reflected in the final lines.

The Evenings and the Mornings is a stirring poetry collection that captures one man’s search for meaning, and make an indelible impression on all people fortunate to read this book.