Heart of a Soul Comforter

Poetry - General
52 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2024
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Author Biography

Kayla Muth is a vagabond at heart. A desire to travel was established at a young age, much in part to family living hundreds of miles away. She spent numerous years living intermittently on the road while volunteering for disaster relief projects and venturing to where Jesus called her to go. Her interests include hiking, jazz, kayaking, reading, soccer, and, of course, creating in-depth travel itineraries. She now resides in Pennsylvania, jokingly admitting that she has moved from one biblical town, Galilee, to another, Bethlehem, possibly via the road to Damascus.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Golder Hazelton for Readers' Favorite

Heart of a Soul Comforter by Kayla Muth is a warm, witty, and winning collection of poems penned by a world traveler with deeply embedded Christian values and a clear desire to affirm readers and help them overcome disillusionment and self-doubt. Muth’s poems are immediately accessible, due largely to their straightforward language, direct approach, welcoming and familiar rhyme schemes, and simple truths, offered with tenderness, laser-precise timing, and perfectly placed to get their message across. Readers will also find generous helpings of compassion and humor woven through the collection; in short, Heart of a Soul Comforter, as the title suggests, offers a whole lot of encouragement, positivity, and hope in a concise, easy-on-the-soul package. The book is stylish, too. Although the artist is not credited, elegant line drawings enhance the manuscript, adding considerable visual appeal.

While Heart of a Soul Comforter is uplifting when taken as a whole, Kayla Muth includes confessions of deeply personal pain which add a tremendous amount of humanity to the collection. From Peter & Matthew: "I fought and climbed to that worldly summit/Only to find myself drastically plummet." Muth’s inventive and often unexpected use of rhyme always manages to ring true without ever obscuring the thrust of her message. Above all, one profound message reverberates through Muth’s trials and travels: if you are in pain, you are not alone. It’s a powerful message, and Heart of a Soul Comforter is a powerful collection – a true balm for world-weary souls. Perhaps Insatiable Wanderlust best expresses Muth’s poetic intentions: "We come to serve/And end up blessed."

Pikasho Deka

Heart of a Soul Comforter is a beautiful collection of poems that covers different aspects of life as seen through the eyes of a vagabond. Penned by Kayla Muth, this short poetry collection opens with the poem 'Vermouth Honesty,' which hits back at those elites who find their truth during their indulgences, leading to often severe ramifications on others. In 'October,' the narrator shares unique adventures and memories of this month over the passing years. 'Insatiable Wanderlust' shows how a wanderer's lust for adventure and travel comes at the cost of losing touch with their loved ones. The narrator realizes the longing for friends and family during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 'Just a Phase.' 'Life Happens' beautifully demonstrates how the seemingly mundane little things give meaning and purpose to life.

Kayla Muth's enthralling verses act as a soothing balm for your soul. Heart of a Soul Comforter lives up to its name and offers readers a collection of intimate poems that bring you a sense of hope and calm amid the disorder and adversities of this world. Drawing inspiration from her own life experiences, Muth delivers a moving collection that feels personable and gives you something to cheer about. If there's any such thing as a comfort poetry collection, this is it. Muth displays a lyrical flair that feels authentic and highly immersive. This is the type of poetry you want to read over and over again. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection sprinkled with a tinge of bittersweet nostalgia, and I'm sure other poetry lovers will feel the same way.

Jamie Michele

Heart of a Soul Comforter by Kayla Muth is a compilation of the author's original poetry, each piece written in free form, a stylistic choice that allows for greater flexibility in structure and rhythm. Muth's work ranges in length, tone, tenor, and content, from the three-stanza, seven-versed Orange Pants, which reflect on the narrator's past conformity and loss of identity, symbolized by a shift from gray to orange pants, and the ultimate embrace of one's true unconventional self, to the longer Effervescence, an ode to the presence of friends who bring joy and zest to life, and the importance of genuine connections, shared experiences, and the positive impact of such friendships. Intentionally placed throughout the collection are black and white sketches that bookend each piece.

I am a great lover of poetry and found a whole lot of wonderful messaging in Kayla Muth's Heart of a Soul Comforter. Given the brief biography of Muth at the end, I was able to better connect some of the work directly back to her. Muth describes herself as a lifelong traveler, and the poem Just a Phase describes the realization that a wandering lifestyle has cost the narrator deep connections and a sense of belonging and acknowledges a longing for family and friendships—that vagabonding may be just a phase. For me personally, I was most tickled by the sprightly verses of Gypsy Possum, which playfully introduces the story of a gypsy possum and a lemming, doting on the unexpected nature of friendships and the joy found in unlikely connections. Connectedness is a theme in Muth's work, and her success in drawing readers in is a testament to her skill at just that. Very highly recommended.