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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Fierce Tempo, by Kristi Ivey, is a compact collection of poetry about time and how we humans live with it, by it, and for it, in some cases. This poet places special emphasis on time and its impact on women. Fierce Tempo is more than the title of this volume; it's the title of one of the poems. These poems could be a clarion call for everyone, to be more aware of time, mindful of it, and respectful of it. Ivey's poetry spans many emotions we can all relate to, from happiness to sadness to pain; and the language she uses is moving as well as inspiring. Her phrasing and word choices--even her delivery--feel bold.
Whether writing about a soldier's raw experiences, or what it means to grow old, or toxic relationships, Kristi Ivey has her finger on the pulse of all things emotional, personal, and universal. Some of my favorites are on the seasons, but if I had to choose one as my top favorite, it would be "Spiritual Feast". Images are sprinkled amongst the poems. The meanings of the poems vary. Some are concrete messages, while others are more abstract. I like the way the poems remind you of people, places, events, and themes in your own life. The poems can help you in a cathartic way, or open windows to new thoughts and ideas, or show you old feelings with new faces. "Mourning Song" is a visceral piece about grief that leaves you with a certain image painted on your imagination, and "Heritage wrapped in brown worn hands" is an example of her excellent choice of phrasing. Poetry is an artform to stir the heart and mind, and Ivey has used a brush to inspire and move her audience with Fierce Tempo.