Of Life and Magic

Poetry - General
122 Pages
Reviewed on 01/30/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

Of Life and Magic is a collection of amazing poems by Bruce Slater with stories speaking of the magical journey of life and its endless mysteries. Some poems tell simple stories of life experiences we live every day while others relate stories of enlightenment, but all with profound meaning and emotional pull. The words are filled with everything from sorrow, abandonment, hope, inspiration, and everything in between, but the one thing they all have in common is the deeply enchanting emotional pull that comes through every single one of them.

The best poets are blessed with an amazing gift that allows them to use the same words, speak to different readers, and draw out their varied emotions. Bruce Slater's words in Of Life and Magic embody this gift profoundly. The poems portray the true essence of life with all its ups and downs, and everything that makes it an adventure worth taking on with the magic created when all its mysteries are blended into one journey. The poems in Of Life and Magic are deeply compelling and will have a profound impact on their readers that will stay with them long after they have read the final page.

Each poem tells a story, and some tell more than one. The collection contains a poem for everyone and for every occasion. I could hardly believe that this was Bruce Slater's debut collection - he clearly possesses the gift of a natural and very gifted poet. Reading his work was an enchanting experience and I hope many people get to experience the magic of his words.

Gisela Dixon

Of Life and Magic by Bruce Slater is a collection of poems about life in general. Of Life and Magic is a fairly short read with poems ranging from the topics of love, life, heartbreak, sadness, peace, hope, and just all those emotions and little things that make up life on a daily basis. The poems can be read in any order and each stands independently on its own. Bruce has also provided a brief description of his inspiration for each poem in the end notes. Although Of Life and Magic is a book of poems, some of the poems are pretty long and can almost count as lyrical prose or short stories told in the form of a poem.

Of Life and Magic by Bruce Slater is written with a good rhythmic style and flow. I liked how the verses rhyme without the writing feeling forced. I also liked the concept of storytelling through the art of poetry, and poems such as “Bird” clearly tell a story in the form of a poem. Overall, this is a great book for poetry lovers and fans of the genre of classic poetry with its rhyming words and lyrical words, and for this reason, I would recommend it.

Charles Remington

Of Life and Magic is an impressive collection of poetry by Bruce Slater, deserving high praise and attention. Slater employs a variety of techniques ranging from short verse to longer narrative pieces, but all are handled with competence and style, peppering the collection with so many gems that it is almost impossible to choose in a short review, but let me try. The poem ‘Bird of Pray’ is a chilling Poe-like narrative piece with an unexpected twist, and ‘Cliff’ will reach the hearts of anyone who has ever taken the plunge into an uncertain venture. ‘Norma and Lou’ will make you laugh and maybe encourage you in a certain direction, while ‘Redemption’ is an uplifting piece which will warm your heart. ‘Shelter’ moved me deeply and contains some of the best lines in the collection - here is the final stanza: ‘We are helpless to protect those that we love, Give them shelter from the storm as they drift. And the love that we feel as one slips far away, Is the best and the worst of God’s gifts.’ ‘Wonder’ is another that will make you smile, and by the end of this book you will feel that you have journeyed with someone who is as troubled and confused as you may be, but who has one or two insights that might just help to light up your life.

Of Life and Magic is an accomplished piece of work from the pen of an able, insightful poet with a clear, uncomplicated voice. The poems are accessible and avoid the sort of oblique metaphors that can sometimes be more confusing than enlightening. If you can forgive one more aside, physics has been a lifelong personal interest of mine and I’d like to share one more line with you from the poem ‘Time’: ‘In the equation of light, space and mass. As time is the thread that binds well the whole. Defining present future and past.’ Probably one of the most thought-provoking observations on the formula e=mc2 I have come across. I have picked out some personal favourites from Bruce Slater’s excellent book, but I encourage you to look for yourselves - I can guarantee you will find your own favourites amongst his fine poetry.

Mamta Madhavan

Of Life and Magic by Bruce Slater is a collection of poems that deal with emotions found around us in our daily lives. Love, loss, peace, hope, failure, success, regrets, redemption, fear, courage, and life are there in our everyday existence and the poet takes readers on a beautiful and insightful journey that captures these feelings. The poet gives brief notes at the end of each poem so that readers get a better idea about what goes into each poem, giving clarity to the poet’s thoughts and what has gone into the poem so that readers can understand the piece better.

Every poem strikes a chord with readers and they bare the soul and heart of the poet, letting readers into his inner space. The everyday emotions of love, loss, pain, life, and many more thoughts and feelings have been woven along with the words effectively, making them tangible and palpable to readers. While ‘Au Revoir’ captures the myriad emotions that run through a person many a time, ‘Life and Magic’ exposes the beauty of life and the mystery surrounding it, making it an enigma that is fascinating. I liked ‘Audrey’ for its humanness and it shows readers what loneliness can do to a person.

The wordplay is good, neat, simple, and elegant, and that makes it easy for readers to understand the indescribable in a good way and connect with the emotions that are there behind the words. All poetry aficionados will find this collection a delight and all the poems can be re-read.

Melissa Tanaka

Of Life and Magic is an enchanting poetry collection written by Bruce Slater. Slater excels in short form poetry in which he crafts an entire story within a single page. His prose is rich in regards to the language used and the images it evokes; the most notable of these images are often of nature as he builds up a beautiful landscape throughout the course of a poem. That all being said, Slater is also well versed in longer, more drawn out pieces that expand over several pages. To be capable of writing both concise and lengthy poems speaks to his ability as a poet, and some notable works include “Chorus,” which contemplates the natural music in one’s life; “Genius,” a meta-type poem that reflects on what it means to be a poet; and “Duck,” a more comical piece that ponders what it would be like to live life as a duck.

Lovers of poetry and life will be absolutely smitten with Bruce Slater’s Of Life and Magic. Not only were the poems enjoyable to read, but one thing I particularly enjoyed about Of Life and Magic was that at the very end of the collection Slater included a list of end notes that added an extra layer of depth and information to several poems to help readers to further understand them. As a reader, you hardly get to ask an author what a poem really means to them, and so to have that dialogue laid out for me was quite wonderful!