Blooming Verses: Poems about Life and Wisdom by Kwasi Gyeabour

Poetry Book Review

Title: Blooming Verses: Poems about Life and Wisdom
Author:  Kwasi Gyeabour
Publisher: Independent
Released: April 22, 2023
Pages: 119
ASIN: B0C3BMB1NX
Stars: 5.0

I have been struggling with depression recently because of a chronic pain battle with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, not to mention financial instability due to the cost of living. Constantly trying new meds and weaning off others, I’ve felt like I was losing my mind. So to read splendid words like these, full of light, hope, beauty, and wisdom, in the face of adversity, I feel gratitude. I feel my strength and resilience resurfacing, and even better, I am encouraged to write more heart-based, soulful poetry to help inspire others the way Kwasi Gyeabour has inspired me.

First, the cover is eye-catching and gorgeous! Perfection. The book’s interior is painted with wisdom, heart, love, and sage advice, and there is not one throwaway verse here. This is an exquisite collection of poetry that everyone should own and re-read often! There is a reason this book is the #1 New Release in African Poetry on Amazon. This poet is the human I aspire to become.

These gifts are among my favourites in Blooming Verses: Poems about Life and Wisdom: “Home,” “Wisdom of the Senses,” “Viva La Revolution,” “Stay Weird,” “The Way,” “The Tree of Life,” “Anthology of Wisdom,” “The Assignment,” “Power Over Self,” “Unraveling the Labyrinth,” “The Pain in Your Rise,” “The Shining,” “Nature’s Example,” “Value You,” “The Truth and the Life,” and “Reckless Captains.”

So, if you require reassurance that divine, positive, spiritually evolved souls are inhabiting our planet, buy this book and read it. If you yearn for connection so you feel less alone, buy this book, and read it. If you need to be reminded of the love of humanity, buy this book, and read it. For it will rain on the drought in your garden, slake the thirst of your stalk, and emblazon your bulb to bloom.

A Sister in Heaven by Andrea Freedman

Children’s Book Review

Title: A Sister in Heaven
Author:  Andrea Freedman
Publisher: Independent
Released: July 26, 2022
Pages: 16
ASIN: B0B7TFQSZB
Stars: 4.0

As someone who lost her sister and best friend, to ovarian cancer, at the age of 48, I genuinely appreciate the love, thoughtfulness, and compassion that went into creating this children’s book that speaks to how we can choose to deal with grief.

Andrea Freedman has written a beautiful, uplifting poem in A Sister in Heaven to help young people ages five to ten, deal with the passing of their sibling. If you believe in Heaven, and many parents would encourage their children to believe, this book will undoubtedly help to ease the pain of your loss. It reminds us that our loved ones would not want us to mourn them for a long time, although, in my experience, the grief never truly disappears. It changes us profoundly. But one thing is certain, the love between sisters never goes away.

Andrea says, “After losing my sister about a year and a half ago, I began to think about all the kids in the world who have had to face the death of a loved one, especially a sibling. I wrote this story with the hope of possibly helping even one grieving child out there make sense of a loss and feel just a little less sad.” She has succeeded with her intention.

Although the book is described on Amazon Kindle as “a work of fiction about two sisters, one of whom has passed away,” I would call this book an inspirational poem. However, I am a poet, and that’s how I often see the world.
 
The standard picture book page count is 32, so this one is short at 16 pages. However, they are 16 colourful pages with lovely digital art by Jim Campbell. In my humble opinion, there are images within the book that could have been chosen for a more striking cover.

A Sister in Heaven can be purchased at the following locations:
 
In-store only:
 
Book City, 1430 Yonge St., at Yonge and St. Clair Ave. in Toronto
 
In-store and online:
 
Joseph’s Inspirational, #39-2721 Markham Rd., Toronto
https://www.josephsinspirational.ca
 
Forster’s Book Garden, 266 Queen St. S., Bolton, Ontario
https://www.forstersbookgarden.ca
 
Israel’s Book and Gift Store, 441 Clark Ave., Thornhill, Ontario
https://www.israelsjudaica.com
 
E-book version on Amazon Kindle:
https://www.Amazon.com/Sister-Heaven-Andrea-Freedman-ebook/dp/B0B7TFQSZB
 
Purchases can also be made through the author directly at andrea.freedman@hotmail.com.

Reveal Yourself: The Best Version of You Is Looking Right through Your Eyes by Matthew Lawrence Scigousky

Poetry Book Review

Title: Reveal Yourself: The Best Version of You Is Looking Right through Your Eyes
Author:  Matthew Lawrence Scigousky
Publisher: Independent
Released: October 29, 2022
Pages: 119
ASIN: B0BKYNRJ78
Stars: 4.0


Reveal Yourself: The Best Version of You Is Looking Right through Your Eyes is motivational prose poetry (enjambment) from author, speaker, and motivator Matthew Lawrence Scigousky. The book’s themes encompass struggle, adversity, self-doubt, resilience, fortitude, strength, faith, hope, love, acceptance, and forgiveness. While I have never heard Scigousky speak, his prose is often beautiful and positive, much like affirmations. Still, I have read his messages many times before by a hundred other spiritual and motivational authors. Other than his delivering his messages through poetry, I could not see what makes this man unique and sets him apart from other motivational and inspirational writers because there’s nothing of his experience in this work.

So, I looked him up online and discovered that when he was six months old, he had both legs in a cast and was misdiagnosed with MS when a spinal tumor was the real issue. Matthew underwent multiple surgeries on his left leg and spine before he was ten and was left with a permanently deformed left leg. He became a competitive ski racer in middle school and learned to adapt and compete in wrestling in high school and track in college. He graduated from university and became a professional, award-winning sales rep in medical device sales. None of this information was in this book (or at least the Kindle version I read), and it should be. It allows the reader to understand how much Scigousky has overcome through his personal regime and positive outlook on life.

I am an editor, and a poet (whose work is very different) who found Scigousky’s use of enjambment, grammar errors, misspelled words, lack of apostrophes where needed, and missed words threw off the flow of his words so that I had to re-read many poems more than once. In addition, his overuse of the word imprint and awkward lines like this one in “Magnetize”: “Positive attractiveness’s magnetic scent is irresistible” and “Hemispherical belief finds orbit?” in “Shine,” made me think of him as a New Age science teacher. Perhaps different line spacing might have helped the rhythm of the verse, but an audiobook version of the book read by the author most certainly would. I think Scigousky must be a lovely, learned man, and I heard his words and beliefs through these poems but not his heart or experience.

I appreciated the author’s quotes between the poems. I enjoyed “Coordinated Direction,” “Unstoppable,” “Rapture of the Heart,” “Changing Hearts & Minds,” “All These Moments,” “Attract What You Feel,” “Discover what you don’t know,” “Latent Powers Within,” “Sometimes The Challenge Chooses You…” and “Substance of the Heart.”

Font styles, sizes, and italics change without rhyme or reason, as well as the poems’ title cases. The work would benefit from a professional edit. However, I highlighted many lines within the author’s prose to remind me of what I need or want to remember. I’m not sorry that I purchased this book because I was looking for something positive to read, and I found it.

While I hold myself accountable for almost everything in my life, I do not believe that everything in life is under our control, nor that most humans can assert their will and control the energy that affects our lives. It’s a massive universe. In fact, we have far less control than what Scigousky believes, no matter how we choose to look at the world. The one theme he missed here is surrender, as there is much in life we must surrender to in order to achieve the life we want and let go of the need to control so that we can be happy. However, Scigousky has written a book he can be proud of and that readers will undoubtedly benefit from.

New Reviews for Eden Redefined by Christine Bode

April is National Poetry Month, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share some recent reviews for my latest book of poetry, Eden Redefined. I’m finally receiving reviews from those who have taken the time to read my book and leave me five-star reviews on Amazon. I must say, it feels good.

For just a moment last week, Eden Redefined reached the Top 100 in the Kindle Store for Canadian Poetry and Contemporary Poetry, coming in at #62 and #67, respectively. To see my book in the same group as poetry by Leonard Cohen and Mary Oliver was a rush! I hope to see it reach even higher in the future, and I can with your help. So if you purchased a copy of Eden Redefined and haven’t yet left a review on Amazon, please do, as it means the world to me, and it could help my book become a best seller.

New Reviews for Eden Redefined

“If you’re looking for a book that tackles life’s most complex emotions and experiences with raw honesty, then Eden Redefined by Christine Bode is the book for you.” ~ Brett G.

“We all have our dark times as life is an unsolvable riddle for most. This collection is down to earth, and I feel anyone can relate to the ups and downs life offers up to us all. We all need to be grateful for what we do have and be kind to others, such as the author, because we all face demons, but together we can lift each other’s spirits.” ~ Patrick McKenna

“The book had a mixture of compassion, humour, and intimacy.” ~ Brock7

“If you’re wondering whether this poetry collection is worth reading, please give me a moment to shout from the rooftops, YES!

This isn’t just a book of poetry; it’s an experience.

Somewhere between laughter and crying while reading this, my heart broke and mended and was fortified by the message within these pages. Christine has an extraordinary way with words and paints vivid pictures in your mind. I couldn’t put the book down.” ~ Whitney Aumack

“Christine Bode has eloquently put herself out there for all the world to see in this raw, emotional collection of poems and prose. We need more people like her, who are not afraid to be human, showing our weaknesses. As I read the poetry, I could see Christine learning life lessons that have helped her to become the strong, independent woman she is today. Congratulations on a job well done!” ~ Lynn Rae

Here are some terrific poetry collections that I’ve read recently:

EROica by William F. DeVault

To Daughter a Devil by Mary Megan Moore

Multifarious Dimensions of Meh by Eric Montgomery

Confessions Under Cratered Moons: Poetry of Cosmic Chaos by Whitney Aumack

Please share the best poetry you’ve read recently with me in the comments. I’m always looking for exciting new work.

Happy National Poetry Month!