RAINBOW PROMISE ME SONGS by Armstead Kennedy Fisher


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This small collection of eclectic, spiritual poems bears witness to both the beautiful and heartbreaking moments surrounding existence.

Fisher’s first volume of poems, 38 in all, reflects the poet’s deep yearning to understand and reflect on the turbulent life he’s led, as well as to understand God’s place in it. His poems use many forms, from free verse to rhyming, and Fisher excels at some of them more than others. All the poems could fall loosely under the umbrella of spiritual journey, and it may be the poet’s intention to muse on life in the broadest sense, but the disparity in themes, tones and rhythms leads to a sometimes jarring read. The organization of a collection can make all the difference, but here there doesn’t seem to be a logical transition from one poem to the next. “Mourning in Gethsemane” glides beautifully between Jesus’ agony in the garden and how the poet understands it: “Oil pressed down on my head / ’Til blood runs out my face / Lick it like sweat.” “I Should Have Stayed” beautifully uses rhythm and imagery to depict the longing and regret of past love: “Your scent lingers awhile; froze / Long after your face goes.” The book also has many prayerful moments, as in “No Greater Reward,” which reads like a psalm in its gratitude for the ways of God. Other, unfocused pieces tend to sputter; some even seem unfinished. The raw materials are here, but additional editing is needed to help focus and shape these poems into a powerful collection.

Exudes vast emotion, but too unrefined and unpolished.

Pub Date: July 20th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0615627854
Page count: 46pp
Publisher: Holyfishpublishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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