This is the third edition of The Inspired Heart by MCI Writers House, a
new Canadian publishing house that mentors and publishes with special attention
to the passions of life and helping authors dreams come true. The Inspired
Heart Edition 3 is an anthology of postmodern Poets with the theme of the
beauty of women. The anthology is a celebration featuring international Poets in
all stages of their writing careers and from both men and women Poets. The
editor’s note on the back of the book:
“If on the journey through this book you feel impelled to cry, do so, if you feel impelled to scream, do so, if you feel impelled to love, do so, and if you feel the need to change things, please do so. Each writer will ask you to call upon the very fibers of our humanness as a reflection of each other.”
When This Writer picks up the book I am first struck by its very large size, not unlike a very large picture book and then the beautiful stylized pink bird on the cover. Everything says candy. As I go to open the book, in the background plays “she comes in colours everywhere” “like a rainbow” by the Rolling Stones.
The theme of the beauty of women is celebrated in a myriad of themes that include family, mothers, sisters, love, love lost, love celebrated, scars, journey, old age, teenage years, body image, issues of beauty and health and underwritten in the background, the violence of the war diaspora Western World.
I liked The Persian Song by David Hobberlin, he is a studied Poet and has been writing for over 50 years and this poem was influenced by an ancient book of Persian poetry from his grandfather. This is one of a series of verses:
“What yellow sun does this pallid moon behold?
Is it a reflection from the eternal home of verse?
Or can it be greater riches to fill the vacant purse
Than all of Bokhara’s vaunted gold?”
It is a traditional lovesong and creates mythologies with beautiful imagery.
K.V. Skene has been internationally published and there is a selection of poetry, particularly noteworthy is Old Women, This is Not a Poem (for Valerie Spurr 1927-1997) and For Those Who Still Live Where Lilacs Bloom:
“who inhale her sweet secrets whenever they encounter
green gardens under a perfect blue,
gather armfuls of a honeyed childhood
under billowing purple.
For those who seem to drift a little behind their lives,
one hand trailing in the water,
who see spiders bridge the river’s pilings, hear
the soft ping of moths on ozone-scented air.
For those who overtook May’s blatant fields of rape,
follow highways bloated with fly-eaten fox, back-broken deer,
to reach St. Andrew’s and her funeral.
For all the pain she embraced, for the children she left bereft,
for those who forgot
and for those who remembered to tell the bees
and bring her lilacs.”
These poems are in the postmodern school, without a rhyme scheme and varied punctuation and capitalization, yet with a certain intrinsic rhythm.
Only Skin Deep by Ruth Morris tells of scars:
“I lay on my back in bed and trace the scar on my belly
long and wide from navel to pelvis
tiny imprints crisscrossed like tiny fairy footprints
that’s where they removed the stitches
I place a fingertip on each new scar and press them into place
they are in a lopsided circle surrounding the long narrow highway
I can feel the scar tissue underneath hard and unyielding
I go to the mirror
wearing only the skin God gave me
I look at my reflection
scarred and broken
I try not to stare
I once heard that scars are the road map to the soul
I have been many places
My soul is mapped on the outside and well as in
For who can see the scars that dwell inside me?”
It is poetic prose narrative, illuminating the condition of the physical, questioning traditional ideas of beauty.
The styles of poetry are exciting and diverse, including Beat Poetry, postmodern, narratives and poetic prose. I am particularly fond of storytelling in poetry, as if glimpsing into the secret lives of other women, their fears, their battles, their successes and there are some really good examples of stories of the lives of women and family, mothers, sisters, being in high school, old age, health issues in The Inspired Heart Edition 3.
Holly Irvine pens Testosterone a story about how both she and her friend have broken up with their boyfriends and the friend plays at seducing her. Emily Amon writes The Widow, a story of an old woman in winter and Mother and Child a story of a mother in Africa who has no milk to give her child. Mama Helen by Caroline H. Davidson tells the story of her favourite aunt and growing old. Terri Taylor Weiner tells a difficult end of life story about her mother in Apron Strings and a sad story about her sister and difficult relationships in No Thanks. A humorous story about life in highschool is penned by Sheila Horne in I Want to Be A Cindy Lou:
“My goal was to be a Cindy Lou. That’s what we called the popular girls. They were beautiful, had perfect lives and were destined to succeed. I wanted to be one of them.”
Michael Hurley writes about the beauty industry, anorexia and psychiatry.
In AnorHEXia: Exhibit A:
“Under no enchantment
but mine own
& my own starving society,
both of us hoodwinked
by the Beauty Industry,
crossing the thin line
between real & unreal,
wasting away under a spell
a hex that is the dark water
we swim in
until we wake up …
Can what the White Coats say
Is this what they were saying?”
And Damon D. Dukes writes about autism and champions those who have it.
“I just want to see your smile
no matter what this culture labels you
just know you are God’s child
smile for me love don’t be so blue,”
Other great reads in the anthology are “And Now?” by James Cockcroft, Robert Gibbons, Louisa Howerow, Olivia Raco, Alyssa Cooper, Gina Nemo, Dr. Shruti Das, Emily Bilman, Mahasty Eslahy, Kay Kinghammer, Rebecca Anne Banks. At the end of the volume of poetry is an article titled “The Power of Healing from a Bad Relationship”, with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. at the beginning and some uplifting advice for those who have been in broken relationships.
The Inspired Heart, Edition 3, the beauty of women in poetry, a feast of offerings from MCI Writers House.
Genre: Poetry, New Age
Available @ Amazon Canada. Amazon.ca.
Available @ Amazon United States. Amazon.com.
Available @ Amazon United Kingdom. Amazon.co.uk.
and Available at MCI Writers House.