A Lens Without A Face by Maddisen Alexandra

An extraordinary gifted poet…..  *****


Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings…” In this sense, Maddisen Alexandra is a true poet. In this collection of 101 poems, she invokes emotion and thought in the reader in a way that for this reader was often surprising.

While I read each poem and reacted, it was a unique experience in that she saves the titles to the last pages. Once I saw her titles I had to go back and reread the poems to see her meaning and compare it to mine. The comparison was made easier as the book is set up so that the poems are on the verso side and the recto side is blank leaving room for one’s thoughts (or as she suggests drawings) on each poem

She is a master at repetition. The majority of the poems end with the beginning lines in reverse which has a strong impact on making her point.

This collection is one I will reread many times.



Bits and Pieces by Noa Aliha



An amazing reflection from a young voice…  *****

There are many different types of poetry. Some that express a political thought, or a reflection on nature, or an observation of people or places. Then there is the poet that lays bare their soul, laying out their inner most thoughts and struggles. Noa Aliha is of this last category.
With a refreshing honesty and candor she expresses through her poems the feelings, the search for meaning, and the frustration of her life. While written from a female viewpoint, there is much all of us can learn and relate to in her work. Her words are at times melodic and each piece allows us into just a bit more of her thoughts.
This is a must read for any one who loves poems. This one gets five stars

Book of Mercy by Leonard Cohen



A rework of Psalms….     ***

Sadly, I had not heard of Leonard Cohen until True Detective 2 used his song “Nevermind” as its theme song.  The song intrigued me enough that I bought the album “Popular Problems”.  After reading about Cohen I knew I had to buy some of his writings.

The Book of Mercy is billed as a modernization of Psalms. Cohen’s talent as a poet/writer is evident as he laments about life and its troubles. Written in a prose style, his poetic talent shines through.

While reading each selection, I was constantly reminded of the actual Psalms. This made me think of these as more of a reworking than as new reflections. The tone is somber and while there are 50 selections, they seemed to have one note. I am a wretch but God loves me anyway.

This was a hard book to review as Cohen is an amazing writer but this particular book did not demonstrate his talent very well.

This one, reluctantly, gets only three stars.