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Toss and Turn by Marifel Dungo - a poetry book review

Updated on March 25, 2014

The Book Toss and Turn, by Marifel Dungo is a newly published volume of poetry from Hub Pages writer Blaise25. She also writes under the non de plume of twentyfive. Toss and Turn represents a selection of her best poetry, some of which has been published already on Hub Pages, although some of these poems in the book are new to publication. This is a review of this book, and is a collaboration by Cheeky Girl and poet Astra Nomik, also known as Cathy Nerujen.

This selection of works by Marifel is by turns, exotic, zany, self-aware, confident and even bold, and written with a style that is breezy and hip. The language is easy and chilled out, and very American in style, and betrays little of this Filipina writer's heritage. It's surprisingly mellow. She originally wrote some of this poetry on Hub Pages, and then she decided to collect the poetry that was themed around romance, love and relationships - and put them into a volume, with new poems added for good measure. The result is a 90 page paperback collection (and ebook) of her most impressive works. The book is divided into segments which are thematically linked. And the wait has been well worth it.

Marifel is a poet with a self-assured voice and style all of her own. Some poems are very conversational and natural. The words flow easily, and the thoughts and feelings pour out without ever becoming needy or whiny or self-absorbed. The tone is remarkably mature and has something of the every-woman about it. Marifel puts us at ease, bringing her readers along with her willingly, she is like a candle in our hand and lights our way on this journey.

Her gift is multifaceted – she puts us at ease and yet puts us at the center of things, often in the position of the person she talks about in the respective poems. We experience the flow of her thoughts and feelings. Words are made to explore, contemplate and analyze, and she has a way with words, often throwing up some wonderful sentences that almost need re-reading just to enjoy their affect – “...only us in this cozy puddle...”

Her voice is familiar and honest, seeming almost like a music that reflects much of what we think. She also breaks into a language that is almost a shorthand or abbreviated version of English at times.

“...t’was 4 o’ clock in the aftie...”

Taken from 4pm, a great poem about a romantic encounter that comes unexpectedly out of left-field. A constant element throughout her work is the smooth flow of words which never dull or confuse us. The meaning is always rounded down into simple ideas that we can deal with. Infatuation, love, a crush, a chance encounter, a dream, romantic longings, brief encounters...they are all here.

In her poetry here, no capital letters or excessive punctuation is ever used, enabling the words to flow more fluidly. The language is a dialect in the now. Nothing gets in the way, and words easily forge their own path across the pages. The words do their work well - the poems are allowed to “breathe”.

In the poem “The Killer”, the words work on many levels, dealing with love and intimacy – cleverly juxtaposed against a near forbidden fantasy, that might be half-real. The poem “When You’re gone” goes through the situation of losing someone, and uses the language of reverse meaning or inverted context to accentuate the ideas and images here. And it has a great punch line and realization at the end. In some poems, the use of language is playfully explored, giving up expressions like –

“...when the clock won’t stop...”

Two poems seen – one titled “Reversed” (on page 52) and the poem “When you’re gone” (on page 22) are about slightly different themes but close in many ways and both use a similar way of inverting language and its context to heighten the effect of certain images and meanings – and one wonders were they possibly part of the same poem, but made into two poems. The reversal of words is very clever in both poems, but “When you’re gone” is the more superior poem of the two.

The poem “Take it back” (on page 54) shows a delightful and peculiar inflection in use of the words, reminiscent of beat poets and African-American poets – using a dialect of the streets:

“ knows it’s so hard...”

This is a terrific poem, and again intermixes words in unusual combinations –

“...Cos baby I finally

Made up my mind

To be untangled in you...”

She has a unique way of seeing the world. Like her language, it can be tilted and skewed by the very words, by the telling, and this is a big part of the reward of reading this poetry – it makes you want to go back and re-read poems again. This is a rare quality, rarer still for a poet with her first published work in print.

These poems are for all kinds of people, for the lonely hearts, for people who are stuck in the blues, or the throngs of romance no matter what the context of love. There is plenty of poetry about young love here. It is an enjoyable panacea that, once taken – like a potion – rewards immensely.

The poetry is non-rhyming, and simple and sparse. Yet it is also precise and measured. Sometimes Marifel’s thinking is not in straight lines, and she has the ability to surprise, but she never disappoints, and we never lose the meaning or get lost in the poetry, a quality that befalls other first time writers. It is clear that Hub Pages has proven to be a bivouac to this creative output, or a testing ground on which Marifel can use to reach a wide audience – and a hungry poetry-loving audience can comment on and discern these works.

The books comprises more than 23 poems of quality. We are left feeling satisfied and wanting more from Marifel Dungo. And at the end of the book we are given a teaser of more writing to come with an extract of “Higher than the rooftop”. Her prose is just as keen and inviting, told with the same voice as we find in her poetry, loose and free always.

The poetry here is all love and romance and relationship-related. Marifel is a voice for the new generation of today, and has a broad appeal. She succeeds in crossing boundaries of age, social distinction and gender, and appeals to all kinds here, readers both male and female.

As a writer and poet, Marifel dips her toe in the delicious warm waters of love and longing, and skinny-dips in the rich evocative currents that life and experience offer her – and she holds our hand steadily as we travel on this journey of discovery and exploration with her. Her sensibilities teach and reinforce our beliefs, and explore the sacred feminine and contemplates what it is to be human.

She teaches us and tells us not to be afraid of falling in love and that the “Tossing and Turning” over loves wished for, dreamed of, loves long past, loves yet to come, and love in the “now” – are all part of the tapestry of experience.

In her acknowledgments, Marifel credits family members and friends, and many Hub Pages writers who are mostly poets. Our advice here is – go and buy this book – add it to your collection of Hub Pages of Marifel Dungo, for this is a natural extension of this amazing lady’s impressive collected works. These poems surf at the edge of the fantastic...

Marifel Dungo
Marifel Dungo | Source

Lulu is an American publisher that is entirely based online and a boon for writers who wish to become published immediately. Traditional books take almost a year to go from script to final finished article. Lulu gets the book to print in less than two weeks. This book “Toss and Turn” is a well presented 90 page paperback perfect bound and of high print and finish quality. The poems are segmented thematically, and has everything inside that a typical “proper” book will have.

The inclusion of a copyright notice for Lulu as well as the author suggests the cover might be a design that belongs to the publisher. Although this would not affect this author here, it would be suggested that budding authors and poets provide their own artwork or photo work for their book covers. We also recommend that writers use the Design and Patent Act to affirm their copyright on their own works, for protection.

Marifel chose wisely to promote her book (now also available on Barnes and Noble) on both the back cover and the inside of the book on the copyright page. It pays to advertise. This book also has its own ISBN number, vital for all aspiring publishers. Lulu books after an initial period adds writer’s books to the website for further sale, as well as selling the titles on the Lulu website. Marifel Dungo has written a Hub Page on how this book was published here. I heartily recommend this great poetry book to everyone. There is also an ebook version of the book available on

Review copyright (c)2010 - 2013 Cassy Mantis & Cathy Nerujen. All rights reserved.

Samples of poems from "Toss and Turn" copyright 2010 Marifel Dungo. Samples are used with permission.

Please feel free to rate this Hub and leave a comment. Thanks!


Submit a Comment

  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    HeGlad you enjoyed the hub here, D.Juris Stetser! The book is prety amazing! And to be honest, Fehl's powers as a poet are growing a lot! Her poetry is braver and bolder and more beautiful than ever!

    I do recommend reading Toss and Turn. It's on sale on iTunes books too! Cheers!

  • D.Juris Stetser profile image

    D.Juris Stetser 

    6 years ago from South Dakota

    Hi Cheeky Girl. just discovered you by accident through reading another Hubbers work, and I'm totally hooked! Wonderful writing, and now I can't wait to get my copy of Toss and Turn. Your review makes it sound like it should be reaquired reading for an aspiring poet. Looking forward to reading more of your many Hubs!

  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hello manuspohr, yes this lady in question is a wonderful lady and a great poet. I am a big fan of Marifel's poetry. Thanks for the vote. :)

  • manuspohr profile image


    7 years ago from Massachussets

    Nice girl, Vote Up.

  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Marifel is a great poet, and we are all big fans of her and her work! We bought the book and love it! I'd say A-plus plus! Heh! I'm even promoting it on my website and Blog! Heh! Take care, Maita! :D

  • alexandriaruthk profile image


    7 years ago from US

    Cheeky, you are a great friend and of course she is a good poet! What else can I say. Take care, you both. She's definitely an A plus poet. Maita

  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hello Colin, my wonderful poetic friend!! :) H'mm, Hubber's Hubbette is kind of rather fetching! Female Micky Dee - wow, now that IS interesting! Well, I bought her book on, and we both read it here and we just love it. It is begging for a review, as Marifel / Blaise25 is a unique voice in poetic terms, she fits that kind of "hip" modern style of poetry that goes down easy like a Jack Daniels!

    Well, if you decide to publish some of your poetry, I'll be happy to review it for you too! I have my poetess Cathy here to assist me. :) You are such a great poet yourself. We love your work!

    Do check out her poetry, Colin. As for my hubs, aw thank you for saying this. I am busy finishing a book and hope to publish it before the end of the year on Cheers, moi friend! :D X

  • epigramman profile image


    7 years ago

    ...well you are a hubber's hubber - or should I say the hubber's hubbette - or should I say the female equivalent of Micky Dee - you are a kind considerate unselfish person with plenty of knowledge and passion for your subjects - and this particular hub/review/tribute is certainly no exception.

    I know this sounds cliché - especially coming from someone as original as the epi-man (I never personally use this phrase) but - Thanks for sharing - and promoting your colleague/friend Marifel Dungo - I will have to investigate further into her writing - and that is the whole reason behind any book/film/music review - and if I had the opportunity to review your hubs - I would just say simply: OUT OF THIS WORLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hy prasetio: the book has recently been published by Blaise25 under her real name Marifel Dungo, she is from the Philippines. Her poetry comes - much like her - from a special place. I love her poetry. And since I live with a poet who is also a huge fan of Marifel, it was only right that we do a review of her wonderful collection. Well, its all due to Hub Pages in a way too, as Marifel writes hubs as blaise25. We are glad to share, prasetio and to share the word around. Blessings to you too, my friend. Cheers. :)

    Hello BadCompany! Yaaay! LOL! Glad you like the poetry hub. Blaise is a great poet. And she has more books planned for the future too. Us cockney chicks! Hehehehe! You are so funny!! :D Yes, the weekend is upon us, and I have lots of writing to do, if I am to finish moi own lil' book too. This book-writing stuff is catching on, Art! Heh! Enjoy your tea! Enjoy your weekend too, moi friend. *Hugs ya big guy* Cheers from us Girlies! XOXOX

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Totally awesome Blaise and I am really pleased for you girl, and a great hub as always by you 2 cockney chicks, anyways moi tea is ready, have a great weekend one and all ; ) xoxo

  • prasetio30 profile image


    7 years ago from malang-indonesia

    This is new for me. I never heard about this book before. I hope this could inspired my people to make a beautiful poem. Thanks for share with us.


  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hello always exploring: aw, thanks for this lovely comment my friend! Blaise's poems are very readable and she is a cool poet. And since you mention it, this review of her book "Toss and Turn" is my first ever attempt at doing a book review. :) I survived the experience. Heh! Actually it was a great project to work on, and my partner helped me out enormously. I like supporting great writers - especially when they are good friends on Hub Pages! Cheers right back at ya! :D

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    7 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Cheeky Girl,

    Your review of 'Toss and Turn' is beautifully written. I love to read Blaise25,s poems, I'm sure her book will be a delight to read. Thank you


  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hy charlotte! Thanks for the comments here. You said some thing there real important. I agree, we could all use hearing a lot more about all our favorite poets out there in Hub Pages. There should be more Hubbers writing reviews of other Hubbers works. As an accompaniment to commenting on them - although commenting is kind of doing that job a lot anyway! Cheers, thanks for the wishes, my friend! Have an excellent day! Will be reading your hubs too! :)

    Hello Micky: Thanks for the comments here! Cheers! :)

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 

    7 years ago

    Great heads up Cheeky Girl!

  • charlottelacar profile image


    7 years ago

    Hi dear Cheeky..

    Another great hub's fun reading the hub. Actually I am big fan of poetry and love to hear more about them. You deserve to be rated up! Wish you all the best.

  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hello Darski! Aaah, it is great to hear from you! How the heck are ya, girl? I hope things with you and your family are okay. We understand things here, and I hope your daughter is okay. You have been going through so much these days!

    Yes, the Toss and Turn book is a great read, if you like romantic and love poems. Fehl (we call her this rather than Marifel!) is a wonderful person, and a great writer. And we are happy to champion her great writing in this hub and or website too. DO check out her poems on her Blaise25 Hubs. They are wonderful.

    Much love and Hugs right back at ya! LOL! Cheers, moi friend! :)

    Hello Money Glitch: how is life with you? Thanks for the comments about Marifel's poetry. Please do check her work, there's something in there for everyone! Aw, thank you for the rating up too! That's sweet! :)

  • Money Glitch profile image

    Money Glitch 

    7 years ago from Texas

    Hi Cheeky Girl, I like your review and thanks for introducing me to another writer of poetry here on HP. Rating up for you! Namaste'

  • Darlene Sabella profile image

    Darlene Sabella 

    7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

    Hello my adorable and giving girlfriend. Oh I have missed you so...I am now back from my very long trip to San Francisco and so happy to see your shining review. What an honor you have bestowed upon this poet, I shall try to read some of her work. Love, hugs and so happy to see you here. Love Darski

  • Cheeky Girl profile imageAUTHOR

    Cassandra Mantis 

    7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hey Fehl! You deserve this, from us. What can I say, Fehl. We are fans! Cathy is such a huge fan. She's a poet. And more besides. You know us well enough by now. We weren't kidding when we said we were buying the book (the paperback). It is a great read. I read it a few times. And then Cathy read it, and we sat down and wrote sort of 2 reviews and then merged them together into one hub review for ya! Heh!

    Aw, insomnia? Well, may you have beautiful peaceful rest tonight and no insomnia. It's no harm to reach for those stars, my friend. We believe in you!

    Well, you are an ace writer and poet. (By the way, I emailed the text to you earlier, so's you could check that first, I'm not sure which went up first, the hub or the email.) Oh, and it's up in the apartment site too. Heh!

    Fehl, you are worth it. Every word. I hope the book makes you some money. We both do. And we love you too, so much! :)

    Oh the name? Well, I stuck to Marifel for this review, as I didn't want to confuse readers of the Hub with too many names here, that's all.

    And I am smiling at your Halloween avatar pic, that is so funny! The little horns are cool! Cheers, moi beautiful friend! :D XOX

  • blaise25 profile image

    Fehl Dungo 

    7 years ago from close to you...

    Oh my gorgeous! I'm speechless here right now. It's nine ow-one pm and I'll blame you two for my insomnia tonight LOL This is just so overwhelming. I don't know, do I deserve this? You guys, I love you.

    I never read such beautiful review. This has caused me some goose bumps, tears of joy and hell lot of roller coaster feeling!

    Look at those picture! So pretty! And my picture, so cheeky girl. LOfreakingL ;)

    I'll read this over and over again. Every word that you guys said here is more than poetry to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Can't thank you enough.

    PS Ok so Cassandra, you've mentioned my complete name not my nic. Would that mean a punishment from Cathy? LOL jk

    I love you guys XOX


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