2 out of 4 stars
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My fiancée and I met on a poetry website over 11 years ago. While she had been a poet long before that, I had only toyed with poetry a few times before heading to the website to hone my skills. I consider myself fairly skilled at silly poetry, but I could still vastly improve on the more serious, emotional stuff. So when I came across The Fountain of Love: Poems for the Lady in Your Life shortly after our anniversary, it felt like kismet!
The Fountain of Love: Poems for the Lady in Your Life is a collection of 14 love-centric poems by Collin Brodie. After reading the book, it's very clear that Collin has fallen head-over-heels for someone, and his exuberance is just as obvious thanks to his aggressive use of exclamation points. Unfortunately, genuine feelings of love don't necessarily make a terrific poet.
The vast majority of poems in The Fountain of Love: Poems for the Lady in Your Life swap between ABAB and ABCB rhyming schemes, and I never once found a poem that followed strict rules. I have nothing against end rhymes, mind you, but great poets toy with structure and limitation. To make matters worse, poets who stick to using end rhymes often force their rhymes, and Collin is no different. Perhaps this overuse of the same format is what made the end of this book so great: "The Rainbow" is a poem with three lines that rhyme followed by a form of "I can't help but love You so!" in each stanza. These lines were also the closest to sharing a syllable count, so they flowed far better than other poems that swapped from 7 syllables to 13 per line for no reason. The book then closes with the aptly-titled "Love", which reads like song lyrics. I also found four errors throughout the collection, although all four had to do with a misuse of "it's", two incorrect uses of "you're", and an issue with possession.
Sadly, the themes don't change much either. "Praises for You!" compares Collin's love to various beautiful things, "The Track Star" details the strength and beauty of his love while she runs, "My Precious Love" discusses his love's beauty, and "Midnight Angel" warns readers that his love will steal their hearts and enslave them just as she enslaved him. There is ONE poem - "The Love of a Mother" - that is written about, well, the power of a mother's love to act as a respite. In fact, the only thing that kept me interested in the book was whether Collin was actually with the woman he loves or not: "Precious Angel" is written to a friend who has moved away and Collin is declaring his love for her while wishing her a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year". Then there's "My Delicate Rose", in which Collin's love has a broken heart and he tells her that he can fill that hole in her heart. "Praises for You!" goes so far as to include an apology at the end for expressing his feelings to her.
This makes me question the title a bit: does Collin really mean that these poems are for "the lady" in someone else's life, someone he shouldn't love? If this was the case, I feel like the collection could've explored that tug-of-war of emotions far better. Love is a fickle jerk that often chooses the worst people at the worst times, and poetry is the perfect vehicle for expressing that whirlwind of emotions. Or perhaps one in which Collin tries to fight for the love of his life and allows us to journey along with him. Unfortunately, The Fountain of Love: Poems for the Lady in Your Life is a poetry collection I'd recommend only to those who enjoy the most basic, straightforward poetry. For everyone else, a couple "pretty good" poems aren't enough to make a whole collection worthy of reading. I'd rate this book 1.5 stars if I could, but since I can't, I'll give it 2 out of 4 stars. On a final note, readers should also be warned that one poem gets a bit explicit sexually as the author describes a couple of parts of his love's body and something he wants to do with one of them. This one stanza would still only be PG-13 if spoken on television.
The Fountain of Love: Poems for the Lady in Your Life
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