Book Review: Hearts and Minds by Maria VA Johnson

I haven't actually sat down to read a book of poetry since I finished my English degree in 1990. Terrible oversight on my part. This book reminded me of all that is best about poetry: the ability to pack a real emotional punch in just a few lines, and the opportunity to indulge oneself in reading an entire book in half-an-hour.

This book felt a bit like the proverbial curate's egg, in that some parts were better than others. I felt that some of the rhymes were rather overreached and occasionally jarred, but the free verse was much better and the meter was always perfect - something I consider extremely important in poetry. It was broken into sections related to the topic or the mood and that made it something I might dip into at a later date if I'm looking for a poem to suit a particular occasion.

It was, at times, extremely personal. I happen to know the poet, and that might have been a little awkward, but somehow wasn't. It felt more as though a friend was opening up to me. I'd be interested to know if readers who don't know the writer feel the same way.

Overall this is a lovely little volume which leaves the reader with a sense of warmth and enrichment. Recommended.


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