Tracy A. Seiden’s Stardust and Fire: Tales of a Hopeful Romantic comprises a collection of seventy-one poems about the many varying aspects of heterosexual love, passion, desire, attraction and romance. The first of the short pieces, “Childhood Forever,” comes close to conventional rhyming poetry, but it is the only one that does. It serves almost as an introduction to the rest, which encompass the thoughts, dreams and longings of women of any age. These are all free verse: some divided into sections and others that Ms Seiden simply allows to flow.
Stardust and Fire: Tales of a Hopeful Romantic is a title that captured my imagination before I opened the book and read a single word. Tracy A. Seiden held my attention; every poem led me on to the next. “Dance” is so incredibly expressive it truly does dance, as do all the pieces involving dancing. In Divine Love, the woman encourages her man to be protective, and “fuels him to be the man he was meant to be.” “Peace of the Soul” echoes that theme. “Stardust” is thirty-eight flowing words, clever and utterly different. “Fire,” the other title word, is best expressed in “Warrior on Fire.” There is eroticism too in “Heaven’s Door,” “Black Magic Symphony,” and “Did He Feel It.”
The surprise was “Dark Wings Broken.” My personal favourite is “Don’t,” a clever contradiction, or is it “A Winter’s Queen,” or “Reflections” and “life is a cycle, never ending”? The contention for a favourite is powerful in Stardust and Fire, and Ms Seiden expresses herself as a “hopeful romantic” in every poem.
Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers’ Favorite
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