Official Review: Footsteps...Echoes in the Heart

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Official Review: Footsteps...Echoes in the Heart

Post by e-tasana-williams »

[Following is the official review of "Footsteps...Echoes in the Heart" by William Gordon Mallett.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Footsteps: Echoes in the Heart is a collection of 126 poems by William Gordon Mallett. Mr. Mallett writes that the anthology contains verses he has written since the 1980s on all aspects of life. The book is divided into nine sections. "It all began some years ago" contains poems about the author's youth. Poetry in the section titled "We are custodians of the present" addresses comical but disappointing truths about politics and bureaucracy. The section "Why the old are irascible" discusses old age and imminent death. Of course, any collection of poetry that proposes to address all aspects of life would be incomplete without love poems. These are found in the section titled "This moment's romance".

Most of the pieces are written in freeform verse, but Mr. Mallett also tips his hat to the limerick, the sextilla and the tail rhymed stanza. The subject of several of the works is emphasized by a creative arrangement of words on the page. In addition, a few of the entries mix prose and poetry, such as "The Need for Acceptance", which discusses the fear of being alone; and "Steeltown", a piece about life in an Ontario city.

A septuagenarian, Mr. Mallett was born in the Channel Islands and grew up in Toronto, Canada. He has worked in the Canadian Navy, a fire department, a factory and a cemetery. All of these experiences shine through in the collection. "Siren's Song" sings of the allure of the sea, even after one thinks one will never want to be on the water again. "The Alarm" and "The H.F.D." depict the work of a firefighter. Melancholy poems that contemplate the end of life include "A Night's Reflection" and "Philosophical Ramblings".

There is an overall theme in the anthology of leaving a positive, productive legacy after one dies. Mr. Mallett writes with compassion directly to the reader, encouraging persistence, humility and patience. He repeatedly mentions letting petty things go, and not needing to have the last word in an argument. One gets the impression that having experienced nearly all of life's stages, he has some regrets and wants to help others to avoid making the same mistakes.

Readers looking for funny verse may not enjoy this anthology. Many of the poems in Footsteps: Echoes in the Heart display the author's sense of humor, but they are more contemplative than funny. Readers who enjoy verses of wisdom on many topics will like this book. Mr. Mallett advises his audience to live life well. One of the most poignant pieces is "Custodial Responsibility", in which he writes "...let history say that all is better because we passed this way". Another poem along the same lines is "The Edge of the Abyss", that lauds the goal to "...improve the lot of those paths I cross so that my time is not a total loss".

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It explores different stages of life and encourages the reader in their own journey. Mr. Mallett uses his poetry to critique societal issues without using language that alienates his audience. His observations are astute, his voice is compassionate and his subjects address universal elements of the human condition.

Footsteps...Echoes in the Heart
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Post by Wasif Ahmed »

The name seems really interesting. Great review though. And congratulations to the author for getting such a great review. :)
When people say you've changed, it just means that you have stopped living your life, their way.
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