Book Review: Heart and Soul: Poems of Thoughts & Emotions
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2019
List Price: $9.00 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 121
Imprint: Independently Published
Publisher: Independently Published
Parent Company: Independently Published
Book Reviewed by V.S. Chochezi
Masterful New Poetry Collection for Sipping or Gulping
My observation has been that many wine drinkers tend to have a wide array of approaches to how they appreciate wines. My preference is for sweet wines and in particular, I really enjoy ports. I have also observed that folks vary in how they choose to ingest their wine. Some will sip their favorite wine, perhaps even swishing it around in their mouth a bit, allowing it to fully coat the tongue, the inside of the cheeks, and soak the gums, before letting the wine slide smoothly down their throat as they savor every drop. Others may take liberal gulps and more quickly drain the glass, then try a different wine or simply go for a full refill of the same wine without much of a pause between, enjoying the wine no less. I am a sipper.
If you don’t relate to wine in this way, substitute hot coffee or tea, because I have likewise observed that folks enjoy coffee or tea in similar ways that wine connoisseurs enjoy their libations. Although, with coffee or tea, some will blow, then take small sips while it is still very hot. Others may do an initial sip test; then allow the beverage to cool before taking liberal gulps, draining the mug and then restarting the ritual, which brings us to Heart and Soul: Poems of Thoughts & Emotions by Mariah Thomas.
This compilation of more than 100 untitled, very short poems opens with a beautiful affirmation. You have likely had thoughts similar to those expressed in Thomas’ poetry, only Thomas captures these ideas marvelously and masterfully. You may find yourself nodding in agreement, and grunting in mirrored anger, disappointment, triumph, victory or appreciation. There are some rich gems embedded within these pages, and they rest neatly on the page like easily digestible soundbites. You will likely find some ideas reverberating and inviting you to ponder them deeply.
Thomas’ poetry does not trip you up with elaborate form. It is free verse and straight forward, putting forth simple-truths. This is a book that you might read a few pages at a time, savoring over weeks and months, sipping them at your leisure. Then again, you might devour them quickly in an hour or two, then revisit your favorite pages to your heart’s content, gulping them down, while enjoying all the while. In her compact style, Thomas navigates intimate partner relationships, the struggles and joys of being a black person, daughter, mother, and woman overcoming self-doubt and growing into maturity and self-acceptance.
My favorite poems in this work include Thomas’ positive affirmations, soulful inquiries, and creative musings. On p. 37 Thomas asks,
“How am I not magical?”
Her poem on p. 29 begins,
“You ever wonder what it would be like to be the wind?”
On p. 56 she notes,
“I am everlasting. I will forever glow.”
You might seriously find yourself reviewing Thomas’ lines regularly to remind yourself of your own greatness (to overcome hardships, or when life threatens to get you down).