TOUCHED BY LIFE’S GIFTS by Jocelyn Kaye

TOUCHED BY LIFE’S GIFTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut collection of Christian poetry celebrates the triumphs and struggles of life.

For those looking for a bit of spiritual wisdom, Kaye offers this volume of poetry and dictums crafted to give the reader a reassuring window into God’s love. The book contains 52 poems, one for each week of the year. Every poem is accompanied by a short motivational passage in prose as well as one or more verses from the Bible. For example, “You Are My Scented Candle” (“Such a pleasant scent, / fragrance I will never forget. / Your scent is like a sweet perfume that draws / me to watch the eagles reach the sky”) is accompanied by the prose explanation that begins, “When you bring encouragement, love, and hope to others, it is like bringing a scented candle.” These are supplemented with two Bible passages, Proverbs 7:29 (“Perfume and incense bring joy to the / heart”) and 2 Corinthians 2:15 (“For we are to God the aroma of Christ”). Exploring topics like faith, family, wisdom, and self-empowerment, Kaye ministers to the reader and illuminates daily miracles. Some poems are framed as fables, like “My Day and Night Shield,” in which the narrator holds a conversation with the sun, or “ ‘Choo-Choo,’ Calls the Train,” which features an anthropomorphized locomotive. The poems are free verse, with little attention paid to formal conventions. Kaye sometimes makes use of repetition (“Like a teapot, you’re ready / to pour. / Like a flower, you’re ready / to be picked. / Like a ball, you’re ready / to roll”), but for the most part, her verses can be read as enjambed prose. The imagery is simple and messages are generally straightforward, and as a result, the poems mostly succeed. With the prose sections and Bible verses (and occasional photographs in the background), each set of pages provides a concise mix of styles to help put the reader in a positive spiritual mindset. The audience for this work is Christian, but for those who identify with that category, Kaye’s book is a nonconfrontational and lovecentric volume that should please those looking for religious-based comfort. 

A simple blend of poems, motivation, and Bible verses.

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Program: Kirkus Indie
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