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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Discovery: Poetry and Art by Rick and Jan Sikes is a very special book. Most of it was written by Rick as a mental escape from prison bars as some of the illustrations show. Tiny cages that appear too small for a man to stand represent physical boundaries, but he didn’t permit the creation of barriers in his mind. The pictures and poetry express the essence of a complex man. Sadness and loss contrast with humour, and observations of life often seem to clash with Rick’s political views, but his intention is clear: to help others cope with life’s challenges and demonstrate the power of abiding love. Will you discover Discovery and be richer for the experience?
“Stories from the soul, played on a convict’s guitar,” is a line like so many others: music that plays in the reader's mind. Discovery: Poetry and Art by Rick and Jan Sikes is a treasure trove of illustrated poetry with only a hint of free style: rhymes to express what Rick intended must have taken time, but he had too much time, or did he? He left a gift to the world. Readers will have their own favourites: mine were Portrait of My Golden Girl, My Gal Suzie, Museum of Memory and Let Me Hold You, but I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic. There are many about life that intrigued me, and the very different Reasons for Seasons. I found many poems that touched my heart, but none that brought tears as surely as Jan Sikes’ last: Surrender.