4 out of 4 stars
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The Golden Window: Poems - Collection I 2015-2017 Self-Reliance to Caregiving is a book of poetry by Steven C. Brandt. This collection includes almost fifty poems and is split into six sections: “Self-Reliance,” “Living Full,” “Nature,” “Joys,” “Sorrows,” and “Caregiving.” As the section titles suggest, the author takes the reader on a journey through his personal experiences and feelings. Some poetic themes in the collection are quiet obvious, while others are cleverly disguised and take time to process.
If I were to choose one word to describe this collection, it would be methodical. Everything about each poem was clearly planned, down to the spacing and formatting of each word, line, and stanza. For example, in “Rapids,” each line is offset to form a pattern that looks like crashing waves. Similarly, in “Intimacy,” a subtle font change sets the tone for a more poignant story to unfold. To get the most out of this collection, one cannot just read the words on the page; one has to explore all elements of the formatting as well.
Stylistically, the poems are all free verse, but there are some that rhyme and some that don’t; some are very short and some cover a few pages. I greatly enjoyed the use of variation. The poems never felt stagnant or contrived; each one added something different to the collection. Whether it be a new rhythm, a new emotion, an unexpected turn of events, or even a different take on a basic theme, I found myself eager to read each poem and unravel new surprises within Brandt’s writing.
The poems cover an array of relatable themes. Firsts, nature, aging, the passage of time, love, and death are just some of the topics the author opens up about in this very personal collection. The author’s writing is incredibly honest, and I appreciated the stylistic story telling methods Brandt utilized. For instance, some of the longer poems tell a complete story, like in the opening poem, “The Golden Window,” where a young boy witness subtle magic by gaining a different perspective. Whereas the short poems tell a different kind of story, like “Penumbra,” which contains only eight brief lines but manages to encompass an entire stage of one’s life.
As a poetry lover, The Golden Window was a pleasant surprise. The intricate nature of the author’s style, the variation throughout the collection, and the nostalgic themes explored in the poems made it a pleasure to read. There is nothing I dislike about this collection, and the collection is professionally edited. I happily rate The Golden Window 4 out of 4 stars and highly recommend it to poetry lovers who enjoy meticulous poems that are easily enjoyed but also make you think.
The Golden Window
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