Kevin’s blog is a wonderful place to just chill out and bask in an ever-changing feed of poetry, pictures, and little stories.
What Words May Come
Author: Kevin D. Parish
Kevin Parish runs a great blog/website where he talked about this book and its imminent publication last year. His announcement included notice that the first copy went to his mom which, due to my own sensibilities, was a big deal to me. So, after effusive feelings and impulse decisions (not that I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise), I’m looking forward to this collection!
One of the best parts about this book was that it was thematically on-point and stayed focused the entire time. Though Parish explored many facets of personal faith – from doubt and sacrifice to joy and friendship – the poetry did remain on the topic of a Christian faith journey throughout. I liked this because when I read each poem (I tended to read one or two a day), I had a fair idea of where each was going and what sort of poem I could expect. At the same time, there was enough variety in style and rhythm that I never felt like it was droning on and on.
As well, I found the order of the poems interesting. Even though it seems Parish put them in A-Z order, the opening with “A Blank Piece of Paper” was perfect, and each poem after seemed to build on the last. Was it a happy accident of having such tight theme? Maybe.
Downsides are relatively few. Probably the big one is that I don’t think it would be suitable for a non-Christian who feels either animosity towards or disinterest in the Christian faith. Parish is in no way insulting or overbearing, but the connection between his poetry and faith is ever-present, and this may make some readers uncomfortable if they’re unprepared and not interested.
The other downside is that the book is short, but the price is higher than I would expect. It was worth it for me because I definitely wanted to read Kevin’s book, but I did blink at it a few times and think about how I could have bought 2 other indie books (much longer ones) for the same price. While I have no doubt that he put in the work and deserves the boost, it did seem a bit off to me.
5/5 Discoball Snowcones
Like I usually do with collections, I will choose 3 poems to talk about more specifically. My favorite, one that sticks out from the rest, and my least favorite.
So, part of this being my favorite is my liking of Matthew 6:26, which this poem clearly invokes. It also clearly references other natural imagery in the bible, such as the deer in Song of Solomon 2:9, and the rainbow of Genesis 9. The short poem does, in fact, mirror a lot of the feeling of Song of Solomon in its love-like admiration, but it invokes the feelings of significance from Matthew and the commitment of Genesis. At the end, he wraps it into Jesus’s sacrifice, keeping the package tight. It’s just an all-around great poem, in my opinion. ***None of this analysis was confirmed with the author as intentional, so you may want to check the comments and see if I’m way off base.***
So, as a Baptist born, raised, and spanked in the South, anything that starts off with “Mary” screams of papism. And we know what that means.
Either way, I thought this poem was filled with complexity – such as a fear of being young and pregnant, of actually being the mother of God (wow) – that I have to give it applause. This wasn’t what I expected from a super-Christian take on things, but it fits perfectly into the theme and feel of the collection.
Least Favorite: S.A.V.I.O.R.
I just dislike acrostic poetry pretty much across the board. When I realized this was an acrostic, I just kind of coughed and plowed through. Sorry to everyone who wanted me to give you something more vivid and useful.
I’ve got an exciting new book from an author the WP world here may not have seen yet: S.J. Linton’s Clara! Stay tuned for that!