Journeys: An Exploration of Being
I don’t entirely know how to sum up Journeys in such a brief space. Though it is a short book, it contains a great deal to ponder, and reading it was a journey in itself.
I’ll start at the beginning, even more so than I do with other books. Most of the time, I’ll give book covers a cursory glance, paying far more attention to the contents, but this time the cursory glance stuck with me through the book. It wasn’t until I finished the book and returned to the front page that I realized why. The image on the cover is reminiscent of the most famous part of Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel: God and Adam reaching toward each other, their fingers almost touching. On the cover of Journeys, however, the fingers do touch, and this meeting of the mortal and the divine is a powerful and fitting way to start the collection of poems.
The first few poems in the collection are brief, but even they are stirring, calling the reader to ponder exactly that brush between the human and the divine that the cover image shows. The first poem in the collection is titled “Synthesis,” and that, too, seems to be an excellent jumping-off point for the book, setting the stage for the reader’s journey through the poems.
I mentioned that the first poems are brief – “Synthesis” is only a page long – mainly to bring up the sudden contrast that occurs when the longer poems appear. “Epitaph” and “Telltale” are the two longest, the former about twenty-five pages, but while the length came as a bit of a surprise to me after reading poems that were for the most part just a few pages long (although I will admit that not skimming the table of contents would have alerted me to this), their length worked perfectly. They are not meditations as “Synthesis” is but narratives, and yet within the stories they tell are invitations to meditate on the theme that runs throughout the collection. They are quiet, beautiful, and stirring pieces that could easily stand alone, but by being placed in the company of the other poems they find a greater strength.
Not everything in the collection was perfect. Most of the poems were in rhyming couplets or quatrains of ABAB, which at times made them feel simplistic. In a few cases, I found myself thinking free verse would have served the poem better. Overall, however, I found the book to be fascinating, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in poems that show a more spiritual side of humanity.
|Author||Victoria A. Carella|
|Page Count||162 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Poetry & Short Stories|