Poets see the world differently. It is bred within to observe everything around them and translate what they see into a group of words. These words reflect visual and emotional aspects that are meant to stimulate the minds of those who read them. Poets are also people who keep many feelings imprisoned, and writing gives their mental state some freedom. Deep thoughts are evoked through the process and unlike the chaos stirring in the world, poets can come together to create something beautiful without anarchy.
Divided Lines: A Poet’s Stance is one of those beautiful creations. Poets of many cultures have contributed their opinions, experiences and observations into one book with the intention of healing and bringing awareness to a wide audience. It is in a sense, a peaceful riot where each poem is on fire for the most passionate causes.
You can feel the agony of homelessness in Corey Cowan’s, “My Bell, It Has Tolled.” The poem hits you as deep as the cold bones of a man with no hope left. Rendered – invisible to all – he speaks for all the other humans wandering the streets in deplorable conditions, just waiting for a miracle.
Paige Turner writes about defeating the system in her poem “Life Pangs.” The dependence of Food Stamps has plagued generations, and the message ends with breaking that cycle. It is a poem about determination and survival, but also a controversial topic meant to inspire others to declare as the subject of the poem does: I can hold my own/ I don’t need a free ride.
Racism and injustice are common themes throughout the book. Lindsey F. Rhodes touches lightly on these subjects in two poems: “Terms and Condition” and “50 Shades of Gray,” still searching for answers to a problem that has been around for too long. While Shihi Venus takes a bolder approach with: “Black Like Me” and “A Stand for Just Us,” using strong tones and descriptive imagery to get the point across.
Publisher Raja Williams’ epilogue states:
We hope this poetry collection opened the door for dialogue, and created some thought provoking new ideas in attempting to understand each poet’s stance.
She decided to end the book with a positive poem by Damon E. Johnson entitled “Bittersweet Melody.” The world is indeed a meld of bittersweet melodies, but the poem suggests that the divided lines create who we are as a whole:
You are the sound of laughter
I am the song of the weeping willow
Together, we are imperfect harmony
Written by: Donna J. Sanders
Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia, Cardboard Signs, and Devour Me.
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Photo Credit: © CTU Publishing Group
Categories: Book Reviews