4 out of 4 stars
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Centered in the Heart: A Journey of Love, written by Sameer Zahr, is a poetry book divided into three parts. The first part has no title; the second is intitled “Poetic Prose,” and the third part is called “Wisdom.” With less than a hundred pages, it is a fast and light read – a book to savor during a lazy weekend.
The author praises nature, love, music, and beauty in his poems. Spirituality is also a frequent underlying topic. These core themes were what I liked the most about Zahr’s book. I also enjoyed how the poems, especially the ones in the first part, have a paced, rhythmic, almost musical quality to them. Most have 4-line stanzas, some have 2-line stanzas, and the lines usually follow a pleasing pattern. For instance, in “I Yearn,” every line begins with “I yearn to” and a verb.
A thoughtful image accompanies each of the poems, which I appreciated. In “Innocent Love,” there’s a picture of a lovely little girl; in “My Olive Tree,” we see a picture of a majestic olive tree in a beautiful and bucolic property, with chairs underneath it. From the contents of this poem, one can infer it depicts a place that is very dear to the author.
Another positive point is that several of the poems appeal to the senses. “A Walk on the Beach” begins: “I sink my feet on the soft sand/I inhale the gentle breeze with open heart/I trickle with water flirting my toes.” It feels like you’re there with him!
The third part of the book was my favorite, for it dealt with some everyday life issues such as work, success, failure, parents, and relationships. Zahr is clearly a man of faith, and he values God’s role in our daily lives. Several poems allude to God; I particularly liked “Peace,” in which the author explores the relationship between peace and God. He also dedicates one to Buddha, called “Siddhartha and Me.” In it, the author imagines having a conversation with Buddha.
In closing, I was pleasantly surprised by Centered in the Heart, and I gladly rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It seems to be professionally edited – I did not find any errors in it. It’s a beautifully written collection of uplifting, inspiring poems, and it manages to put you in a meditative state. I, for one, felt relaxed and peaceful after reading it. The author successfully sends a message of peace and joy throughout the whole book. I recommend it to readers who enjoy poetry, especially if they appreciate soothing themes.
centered in the heart
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