Book Review: My Lovely Golden Rose: A Lifetime Of Poetic Reflections And Precious Memories
Publication Date: Jan 20, 2014
List Price: $23.99 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 128
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
Book Reviewed by Carol Taylor
My Lovely Golden Rose is a poetry and poetic prose collection of Carrolyn Pichet’s personal experiences and life lessons on family, friendship, love, spirituality, and marriage. It is dedicated to her sister, Gloria, who is the inspiration for the collection.
“To Gloria with Love”
And so I thought you’d like to hear,
That I’ll forever keep you close to me.
Dear sister, you are My Lovely Golden Rose
In my book of precious memories.
“After the sudden loss of my beloved sister Gloria, I became more sensitive to my surroundings—to people, to nature, to life—to everything. I became closer to God because I needed a friend who would always be there for me. Since that time everything has had new meaning for me. I am profoundly touched by the beauty I find everywhere. I am deeply moved by the wonderful things created by His hands.”
A writer who has published a memoir and a motivational book, this new
appreciation moved Pichet beyond prose to poetry. Her poems tell the story
of her life, and of her family. In a section titled: “Guests Poets—All in
the Family” she even includes poems from her family, some from poets as
young as 8.
Pichet’s poems are confessional, they examine her life, memories and experiences in the same gentle tone and rhythm. She is telling the story of her life and leaving it as a legacy to her children and grandchildren. Her poems appeal more to the reader’s emotions, than their intellect. There are rhyming stanzas as well as poetic narrative. Nature, particularly a garden, is a consistent metaphorical theme and is used to reference family, love, and history.
“To Gloria with Love”
Lush green carpet on the forest floor,
A purple-blue ceiling in a storm,
Red velvet drapes of roses grown,
The golden chandelier lighting each morn.
With My Lovely Golden Rose, Pichet is fulfilling her dream of writing
poetry. It is a love letter to those who helped get her to a place where she
can now give back. She has transformed her experiences from a life lived
unapologetically fully, into poetic recollections to preserve her family
heritage and provide a guiding light for her grandchildren.
The reader has a sense of someone looking around in wonder as though seeing everything for the first time. Her poems hone in on the small marvels that we might miss if we don’t stop and look: “the clean fresh air after showers/ a garden in full bloom/ tufts of white cotton in powder blue skies/ the silky touch of a newborn’s hand”. These small, everyday miracles are what propel Pichet’s sense of awe in her poems and in her life. She ends with a section titled “My Legacy in Poetry and Prose”, where she leaves messages of inspiration and aspiration to her grandchildren.
“A Message to My Precious Grandchildren, Brianna, Grace and Xavier”
I realize that there are four generations between us. That’s good because I believe I have some experience that could help each of you fulfill your dreams… You have a wonderful heritage from the generations that walked the trails before you. Like all good ancestors would do, yours worked in the fields and tended gardens fill with thorns so that you will be able to bloom free, full of strength and beauty.
Pichet’s poems are simple, accessible and uncomplicated, not linguistically far-reaching or dexterous. They are straightforward and direct like Pichet herself; but the mood that is set is warm and enveloping. If you like pastoral themes, family recollections, and spiritual elements that sometimes veer into religion, this collection will appeal to you. However, because the poems are so personal and specific to Pichet’s family and friends, it may be difficult to envision yourself here. If you are looking for more complex, controversial, even touchy, far-reaching themes, or even sudden rhythmic shifts in cadence and tone, you won’t find that here. Pichet’s poems and recollections are in much the same tone and style throughout. There is no raging against the dying of the light here, but a warm soft glow to light the way home. If that’s your thing, then you’ll appreciate this collection. If not, it might make a lovely birthday or Mother’s Day gift for someone you love and appreciate.