4 out of 4 stars
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Into the Hearth by Wendy E. Slater is a collection of 70 poems and is the 14th volume in the Traduka Wisdom Series. The collection focuses on spirituality and the universe. Self-discovery, love, forgiveness, the beginning of new relationships and the ending of old ones are all discussed within the collection. As the title suggests, the word “hearth” is sprinkled throughout the many poems that make up this collection. At the surface, the word appears to have a basic meaning, but as we delve into the author’s words, it becomes clear that "hearth" has a comfortingly symbolic meaning.
The poetry in this collection is written in free verse. Slater’s style does not follow any common poetry rules; rather, the author has managed to develop a unique and meaningful formula through the separation of stanzas, planned line breaks, and unconventional indentations. The formatting of each poem wonderfully enhances the already exquisite imagery of Slater’s prose. The combination of well thought out formatting and eloquent language results in a melodic tone across the collection, increasing the emotional pull of each and every poem. Further, the formatting style proves to be visually stimulating, adding to the overall enjoyment of the work.
One defining characteristic of good poetry is the ability of the poet to transport the reader by making use of a plethora of senses. Though the imagery found in this collection is beautiful, it is the mentions of sensations, textures and smells that breathe life into the author’s words.
Many times, themes like spirituality and self-discovery can be vague, underwhelming or simply conventional. This is certainly not the case with Into the Hearth. As a whole, the collection portrays a clear vision, but it is up to the reader to interpret the author’s words as they fit into their own beliefs and experiences. Though quite a few poems elude to a higher presence, namely the universe, the word choice is nonspecific and therefore will appeal to a wide range of readers.
Though similar themes resonate throughout the collection, each poem stands out for one reason or another. Some poems are humorous, others are poignant, but all prove to be equally stimulating. The enjoyable prose and the effective stylistic choices lead me to rate Into the Hearth 4 out of 4 stars. This collection will easily resonate with anyone who enjoys poetry, especially poems about self-discovery, love, forgiveness and nonspecific spirituality. Also, those who are new to poetry will quickly fall in love with the melodic tune of this author’s work.
Into the Hearth
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