Endless Shades of the Mystical Rose

A Poetic Personal Journal of Life and Love

Poetry - Inspirational
166 Pages
Reviewed on 10/25/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Verlaine Crawford created her own secret garden, one to rival the garden that inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. I have a secret garden, too, created similarly out of love and respect for all that is beautiful and profound in nature. Crawford’s Endless Shades of the Mystical Rose pays tribute to her secret garden and the love that both inspired and challenged the emotions she experienced while living in a home that was her castle in more ways than the name it was given: High Castle. There she was able to write, travel, share her mystical inner self with others seeking solace, and create a comforting venue where art and nature could thrive. That was before it came crashing down, metaphorically speaking, when her husband and love of her life informed her that he’d found someone else. It was the beginning of a new emotional journey of self-discovery and redefining one’s inner self. But, through it all, the roses and flowers bloomed with perfection and beauty: “We are that rose of infinite color/ And at our center, the rose does flower./ We are blossoming forth for all to see/ Let us laugh and rejoice to be free.”

Verlaine Crawford’s Endless Shades of the Mystical Rose: A Poetic Personal Journal of Life and Love, is a tender and compassionate poetic look at one person’s journey through love, grief, and redefining. The poems are mostly rhyming verse; simple messages of mystical connectivity with the natural world, particularly with roses. Each poem is accompanied by a spectacular photograph of a rose, or a collection of roses, adding a visual dimension to the presentation of the poet’s journey through the many stages of love and all that is beautiful. Hers is a healing journey, confronting the deeper issues of love and loss. The unbridled connection between love, life, and, yes, roses, is cleverly expanded by metaphor in verses like this: “Focused like a magnifying glass,/ we study the most minute details./ We sense, see, smell, and feel/ a rose and develop energy in motion,/ e-motion around the concept of Love.” Powerful words. This is a book to enjoy over time, to savor with compassion, and to reflect on all that we find relevant to our own lives. An absolutely deeply beautiful, sublime book.

Pikasho Deka

Endless Shades of the Mystical Rose is a poetic journal by Verlaine Crawford that focuses on various facets of love, life, nature, and spirituality. The book opens with a beautiful poem titled "Words that Heal the Heart," in which the author shares her journey of overcoming heartbreak through poetry. "Releasing the Baggage" is an insightful poem about letting go of the past and things that hold you back. "Love Cannot Be Broken" celebrates the power of love and showcases how it transcends all barriers and unites us in the most fundamental ways. "At a Crossroads" sheds light on the moment in time when one feels like starting all over again. "Torrid Splendor of Divine Love" is a reminder of the gifts nature bestowed upon us that allow us to create and live harmoniously in this world.

Endless Shades of the Mystical Rose is an enthralling collection of poems that explore love and its influence on our lives in myriad ways. Verlaine Crawford's verses provide readers with a fresh perspective on how we see the world, nature, and spirituality, highlighting how the essence of everything seems to be connected through this intangible force we call love. Crawford's mesmerizing verses find a way to reach the very depths of your soul with poems about heartbreak, love, and life. Aside from the poems, the book also contains photographs of different roses and nature that soothe your eyes and act as a healing balm for your heart. I can't reiterate enough how much I enjoyed this collection. This is a book I will heartily recommend to any poetry enthusiast!

Sarah Stuart

The title and subtitle of Verlaine Crawford’s book are descriptive, but fail to mention that the illustrations are so vivid you can almost smell the roses bouncing joyously from all but four scenes in the photographs! Truly, Endless Shades of the Mystical Rose: A Poetic Personal Journal of Life and Love is a masterpiece. It comprises thirty-seven relatively long, mainly freestyle, poems. They open with words that celebrate the joy of falling in love and of being in a loving relationship. The tone changes when we reach betrayal and Verlaine’s struggle to accept it and go on alone, despite her soon-to-be-ex partner staying a while to help her create a room where she can be alone to meditate. Divorce follows and the need to rebuild her life.

I found Verlaine Crawford’s poetry amazingly open, honest, and revealing. She references a number of religious practices at various times, particularly when she recounts the breakup of her marriage, but I ended up believing she is, at heart, a Christian. The light of God shines through in Destiny’s Call, which includes the words “God’s will be done” – for you – “as it is in heaven”, though Time Turns in Circles tends to dispute that view. Readers will decide for themselves as they choose their favorite poems – the ones they return to read again and again. Mine are The Sacred Willow, Silence Contains All Sound, and the final offering, The Ball of Light. Endless Shades of the Mystical Rose is a must-have book for all poetry lovers.