Walking by Faith by Elaine Williams

Walking by Faith

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut collection of inspirational poems that touch on spirituality, family, and daily life.

Williams organizes her work into seven parts: “Walking By Faith,” “Trust And Confidence,” “Seasonal,” “Miscellaneous,” “God’s Creation,” “Children Are A Heritage,” and “A Listening Ear.” There’s a good deal of overlap among these categories; for example, a poem such as “The Son of God,” about the life of Christ, appears in “Walking By Faith,” but it could just as easily belong in “Seasonal,” which includes similar poems (“He Looked Beyond,” “He Made A Way”). Williams, an ordained evangelist, writes from a conservative Christian perspective. For example, she urges men to take up their proper roles as heads of the household: “Did you forget God made you the head / But you allowed the woman to be in charge instead / You should be ashamed and embarrassed too / Because you don’t want to accept responsibility that’s placed on you.” Most poems, though, avoid exhortation or scolding, focusing instead on love of faith and family. Williams uses various rhyme schemes in her verses and iambic-ish meter that wanders a bit when she pads out a line for the rhyme (“Your Word said, ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ / Lord it’s not for me to understand how You move and what You do”). Her Sunday-school–like style rarely strays beyond traditional sentiments, images, or language. For example, Williams writes of “The Holy Spirit” that it “is our guide. / To lead and teach us to abide,” and it “helps us not to go astray / Keeping us on the straight and narrow way.” None of these metaphors—Holy Spirit as guide, leader, teacher; the concept of the straight and narrow way—offers anything unique, striking, or poetic about the author’s perspective. In a few verses, though, her voice is more distinct, as in “Be Ready,” which begins energetically: “Get right with God before Jesus cracks the sky.” Also, in “The Red Tailed Hawk,” the contrast between how crows and believers respond to predators has some force.

Traditional, often sentimental verses that take few chances.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5246-3875-7
Page count: 124pp
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Program: Kirkus Indie
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