Official Review: Footsteps...Echoes in the Heart

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Camille Turner
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Official Review: Footsteps...Echoes in the Heart

Post by Camille Turner » 28 Jan 2019, 13:01

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org 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 by William Gordon Mallett is a delightful book of poetry that covers themes and ideas inspired by the author’s interesting life. Mallett’s biography includes growing up on the island of Guernsey, moving to Hamilton, Canada at the age of ten, working as a firefighter and a groundskeeper in a cemetery, and serving in the Navy. All of these unique life experiences shine through the many poems in this collection.

The book begins with poems that focus on memory, the passage of time, and place. These paint vivid portraits of the landscapes of Guernsey and Hamilton and reveal snippets of the speaker’s childhood. Later, the poetic themes shift to firefighting, family, and war. Many of the war poems focus on Canada’s role in World Wars I and II. Then, poems progressively shift to focus on politics, nature, living in the moment, loneliness, old age, love, and writing poetry. There are more than 125 poems in the collection.

I really enjoyed reading these poems and felt that each one told a complete story no matter the length. The poems I liked most of all were those that focused on places. I loved how the poet was able to make these places come alive through the vivid and precise details that he included. For example, in the poem “Through the Eyes of a Child,” the speaker recalls various childhood memories and describes the local harbor as having “the smell of tar, creosote, and diesel” (pg 3) and on foggy days, hearing “the mournful sound of the fog horn” (pg 4). As a reader, I liked that I could smell and hear exactly what was happening, and I thought the sensory details were masterfully done in many of the poems about places and nature.

Another thing I really liked was the sense of cohesion among the poems. They were grouped by theme, and I appreciated this order to the collection. Some of the poems repeated ideas or lines from earlier poems, which I thought aided in the continuity of the collection as a whole. There was nothing that I didn’t like, and I believe the collection to be well edited as I only saw one place where there was a missing quotation mark. I didn’t see any other grammatical errors or typos.

I rate this collection of poetry 4 out of 4 stars because I didn’t see anything that was lacking or which warranted the loss of a star. I felt the poems were easy to follow and understand, and I enjoyed the poet’s use of interesting metaphors. For example, in the poem “The Wonder of Life,” the speaker says that life is like “Pandora’s jar when it was sealed / In youth there is promise and varied chance / As the years progress, the future is revealed / We break the jar’s seal through happenstance” (pg 150). I think that is a beautiful simile. In addition to metaphor, the poet uses a lot of end rhyme throughout his poems, something that I don’t see so often in poetry anymore. I believe that almost anyone who enjoys poetry would like this collection and can’t think of any specific audience who wouldn’t enjoy it.

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Footsteps...Echoes in the Heart
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Jessacardinal
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Post by Jessacardinal » 31 Jan 2019, 14:34

I think I would appreciate the grouping of the collection by theme as well. Beautiful review!
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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 31 Jan 2019, 16:05

Jessacardinal wrote: ↑
31 Jan 2019, 14:34
I think I would appreciate the grouping of the collection by theme as well. Beautiful review!
It made the poems flow really well. Thank you! :)

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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 23:16

Working as a firefighter, cemetery groundskeeper and serving in the Navy - what an amazing and diverse set of life experiences! Sounds like they inspired some great poetry too. Nice review!

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Post by Rose Harebate » 01 Feb 2019, 07:34

I am not a fan of poems since I find them hard to understand and interpret. However, the ones in this book seems easy to read and interesting. I like the fact that each poem holds a complete story. Nice review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 01 Feb 2019, 08:19

I'm glad you enjoyed this book of poetry, but I just can't get into it. It's usually too objective and obscure for me. I'm glad this one is well-organized and well-written, but I'm still going to pass. Thanks.
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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 01 Feb 2019, 09:13

joshfee77 wrote: ↑
31 Jan 2019, 23:16
Working as a firefighter, cemetery groundskeeper and serving in the Navy - what an amazing and diverse set of life experiences! Sounds like they inspired some great poetry too. Nice review!
I agree--what an interesting life! Thank you, and thanks for commenting! :)

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 01 Feb 2019, 09:13

Rose Harebate wrote: ↑
01 Feb 2019, 07:34
I am not a fan of poems since I find them hard to understand and interpret. However, the ones in this book seems easy to read and interesting. I like the fact that each poem holds a complete story. Nice review.
Yes, these require nearly no interpretation as they're very straightforward. Thank you! And thanks for commenting. :)

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 01 Feb 2019, 09:14

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
01 Feb 2019, 08:19
I'm glad you enjoyed this book of poetry, but I just can't get into it. It's usually too objective and obscure for me. I'm glad this one is well-organized and well-written, but I'm still going to pass. Thanks.
I understand; poetry isn't for everyone. We all have our favorite styles, forms, and genres. Thanks for your comment!

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Post by kdstrack » 01 Feb 2019, 10:40

The author has writes on many distinct topics. With so many different topics, it's helpful that poems are grouped according to themes. Your positive words about the poems are very motivating. Thanks for your interesting review.

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Post by nonamer_miss » 01 Feb 2019, 20:17

I love reading poems and writing them too! I think its interesting how each poem tells about the life of the author. Like you, I also like poems concerning places.

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 02 Feb 2019, 07:53

kdstrack wrote: ↑
01 Feb 2019, 10:40
The author has writes on many distinct topics. With so many different topics, it's helpful that poems are grouped according to themes. Your positive words about the poems are very motivating. Thanks for your interesting review.
Yes, the logical grouping helps with the flow of the collection. Thank you for commenting! :)

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 02 Feb 2019, 07:53

nonamer_miss wrote: ↑
01 Feb 2019, 20:17
I love reading poems and writing them too! I think its interesting how each poem tells about the life of the author. Like you, I also like poems concerning places.
Me too! They're so fun to write as well. Poems about place always tend to be my favorite. Thank you for commenting! :)

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Post by Chrystal Oaks » 03 Feb 2019, 20:23

I love the title; it sounds so peaceful. Some of the examples you shared in your review seem to support my first impression and will be adding it to my want to read list. Thank you for the great review!

:tiphat:

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 04 Feb 2019, 09:21

Chrystal Oaks wrote: ↑
03 Feb 2019, 20:23
I love the title; it sounds so peaceful. Some of the examples you shared in your review seem to support my first impression and will be adding it to my want to read list. Thank you for the great review!

:tiphat:
Great! I hope you enjoy reading it. Thank you for the comment! :)

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