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Reviewed by Ashley Tetzlaff for Readers' Favorite
Robert Frost had Mountain Interval, Shakespeare had The Sonnets, Emily Dickinson had her Collection, and Joie Schmidt has her Dreams of the Heart, Volume One. Many of the poems tout similar vocabulary and style as the old masters, as seen in this excerpt, “You are the purple hues/In my sunsets, the warm and heavy/Sighs, that make knees/Shiver; that pushes two weary/Footfalls past noon/That conjures courage/To make love once again swoon….” Although some of the poems are more modern (referencing pavement and cellphones), many of the verses are ethereal and focus on the well-known subjects of love gained and love lost, as well as God, angels, friends, and nature.
When I picked up Joie Schmidt’s Dreams of the Heart, Vol. 1, I wasn’t expecting much. As an admirer of the masters, and someone who has knocked about with poetry writing myself, I knew creating quality poetry is much harder than most people imagine. And I have read my fair amount of whiny prose claiming to be poetry. Needless to say, I was surprised and enamored by the feeling, style, and class brought to bear by Ms. Schmidt. I couldn’t stand to lay the book down. I even read some of it aloud and treasured not only the bliss in my heart but also upon my lips. I could see a girl in Jane Austen’s world poring over such a volume. In my mind, many of the poems contained in Dreams of the Heart, Vol. 1, are worthy to sit beside those of Frost and Dickinson. I sincerely hope Joie’s talent is recognized for what it is: fit for the ages.