A Penny for Your Thoughts

Poetry - General
156 Pages
Reviewed on 12/31/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I am a former teacher and grandmother of ten, and the author of nine published rhymed children's stories as well as this newest book of poetry. My books have received fifty-six 2011-18 National and International awards. A Penny for Your Thoughts is a collection of poetry that I have written over the years. As a teacher I used poetry to help counsel many troubled teens and friends, and have continued this pattern throughout the years. I am also a playwright with seven published plays for elementary school children, which have been performed internationally in over 20 countries.I have also been a professional newspaper sports writer and photographer, a dinner theatre stage manager, and a business administrator. I’ve been married for 58 years, and my spouse and I are now retired, and travel in our RV from coast to coast each year to spend time with our children and grandchildren.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite

A Penny for Your Thoughts by Sherrill S. Cannon is a collection of one hundred and fifty-four poems on the theme of the many and varied aspects of love. Beautifully illustrated with black, grey and white sketches by KJ of Kalpart, Ms. Cannon explores love and friendship, related emotions, and heartache and anguish. The three sections comprise very different views of the title subject. Love and Friendship includes A Sign, a poem about the promise of spring. Related Emotions embraces work still more diverse, appealing to children, adult lovers, and citizens of an unenlightened world. Heartache and Anguish: cold, chill, barren, loss, tears, holocaust, and death. A Penny for Your Thoughts will appeal strongly to those who venture into reading poetry for the first time.

Sherrill S. Cannon’s poetry is mainly freestyle, but the contribution I found most intriguing and unexpected were the haikus. There is one called Autumn to be found in the Related Emotions section, and another entitled Grief towards the end. Fall, amongst the Heart and Anguish collection, is the cleverest, literally falling from “The geese are flying South again” to “S”, the point at the bottom of gradually shortening lines. Every reader will have their own favourites. Mine are A Poet’s Photograph, and Forever Love, which is appropriately in the last section; it is a heart-breaker that compares love to a butterfly, delicate and easily destroyed. A Penny for Your Thoughts is a true coffee-table book; it has a poem somewhere within it for everyone.

Feathered Quill - Anita Lock

Award-winning author Sherrill Cannon has a knack for turning feelings into words in her latest book of poems on love and loss.
Cannon’s newest has been a long time in the making. A collection of one hundred plus poems geared for a wide range of ages (middle school on) who have experienced the joys and sorrows associated with love, Cannon’s writing reflects many, many years of creativity that didn’t just pile up in notebooks. According to her website, the former teacher applied her gift of wordsmithing to help others: "As a teacher, I used poetry to help counsel many troubled teens and friends, and have continued this pattern throughout the years."
Now in book form, and appropriately divided into three poignant sections, Cannon invites readers to embrace her words of wisdom through this marvelous journey called life.
Subtitled Poems of Love and Loss (Feelings Into Words), Cannon goes a step further by adding Coin Toss? in her Table of Contents. Each carefully weighed section—Heads...Of Love and Friendship; Spinning—Of Related Emotions; and Tails...of Heartache and Anguish—begins to make sense...one poem at a time.
Keeping largely but not exclusively to first-person narrative, her first section centers on light issues, such as friends, lovers, parent and child relationships, God, music, and even the beloved Teddy Bear. But as she moves on to sections two and three, the timbre slowly darkens into areas of loss, such as loved ones moving away and death.
Cannon’s assortment of mellifluous poetry, many sprinkled with puns, is replete with free verse, blank verse, couplets, simple 4-line rhymes, alternating rhymes, quatrains, haiku, and concrete poems, just to name a few. Amid the bulk of Cannon’s work, though, are sonnets.
While the various poetic forms in A Penny for Your Thoughts do admirably to translate “feelings into words,” Cannon capitalizes upon her love theme by using a potent structure to verbalize this amorous mien: the Shakespearean sonnet.
Audiences familiar with The Bard’s works will immediately recognize how Cannon effectively captures the varied expressions of this commanding yet fickled four-letter word that is known as “love.” Perfect examples of the Shakespearean sonnet include “Music,” “Sonnet to Friendship,” and “The Road.”
(From “Music”)
“Stop and hear the music in your life— A melody for you to sing along; For it will soothe your heart and ease your strife. If you would only listen to its song...”
Second to the Shakespearean sonnet usage is the Petrarchan. Examples include “A Memory,” “Tentative,” and “The Transplant.”
(From “Transplant”)
“It really wasn’t very long ago, My plant was set into this strange new ground Where everything was different. But it found That even in new sunlight, it could grow...”
There is no vulgarity. Every word spoken is straightforward, intentional, and from the heart. If the reader follows judiciously, he/she will discover that the poems provide plenty to ruminate on and are very therapeutic for those who have unresolved conflict.
Quill says: A Penny for Your Thoughts is so much more than another compilation of poems; it is indeed a book of healing.

Feathered Quill 1/12/18 – Anita Lock