Poems from the Summit of the Pit

Poetry - General
69 Pages
Reviewed on 09/14/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

A follow-up to Poems from the Bottom of the Rock, Poems from the Summit of the Pit is yet another enthralling collection of poems by J.R. Kinney. Like the previous edition, this book contains a set of thought-provoking and introspective poems where the author delves into his past mistakes and celebrates his growth as a person by walking the righteous path with the helpful guidance of God. Penned across a four-month span, the poems are written in four-line stanzas and divided into multiple chapters. These chapters are preceded by interludes that follow similar themes and subject matter covered in the narrative. Subject matter ranges wildly, but the primary themes seem to be pain, redemption, suffering, and hope. If you're a fan of sonnets and ballads, you don't want to miss out on this collection.

Author J.R. Kinney continues to deliver beautifully crafted pieces of poetic verse that seem to get better with each new edition. Poems from the Summit of the Pit is a wonderful work of art that will appeal to every single poetry lover, regardless of their preference of style or subject matter. Well-written poems tend to push the boundaries of your imagination and make you reflect on yourself and your surroundings with a slightly different perspective than before. This collection achieves that and more. I enjoyed them all but found "Plea for a Fountain" to be my favorite. For some reason, it felt more personal. Anyone itching to read some inspirational poems should grab themselves a copy of Poems from the Summit of the Pit.

Daniel D Staats

JR Kinney has the heart of a poet. Over a particular four-month period, JR has shared with us some poems he has written. His book Poems from the Summit of the Pit is a collection of his poems covering many themes. However, I sense an overarching emotion of depression and then triumph. The first part of the book has poems that are sad and lonely. Then, there is the hint of defeat and despair. Then the climb starts, and the poems begin to look up. JR is climbing out of the pit and beginning to notice the surrounding beauty of nature. Finally, JR has successfully climbed out of the hole and turned it all over to the Lord Jesus Christ. Victory is his.

JR Kinney, in Poems from the Summit of the Pit, shares his emotions. He opens his heart to reveal the pain and confusion of a dark night of the soul. His poems are cause for reflection. Some of the poems are easy to understand. However, some of them will give the reader pause to think and ponder. His goal is not to impress but to share. Those who have been through the deep waters will feel the emotion and pain. It is a relief to find someone who understands, and JR understands what it feels like to be overwhelmed. There is a chapter where he tries to encourage the reader by injecting some humorous poems. JR seeks to share his life so that the reader can grow and heal as he did.

Sarah Stuart

Poems from the Summit of the Pit is a title inspired by the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises. In fact, it is the story of JR Kinney’s metaphorical journey from “the slough of despond” through doubts and despair to an appreciation of beauty and joy. The reader goes along with the poet and cannot help but feel his struggles, his pain, and what may be loosely termed his resurrection since it involves making sense of his past and leaving it behind. Poems from the Summit of the Pit is divided into six parts: Looking Ahead, Longing, Doubt, Devotion, Despair, and Renewed Hope. There are Interludes and a brief Epilogue, but the titles of the parts give the reader an excellent guide.

I particularly loved the way verses contained in Poems from the Summit of the Pit are grouped. In Looking Ahead, the first poem, The Snow Wave, sets the scene in that snow eventually melts. There is a strong religious influence, but not in all the poems. Longing is expressed sharply in The Phoenix, which almost rhymes, but not quite. JR Kinney captures readers' interest so strongly that each poem flows with its own rhythm. In every poetry book, readers find their own favorites. Mine moved me to tears – Impossible to Love may be found in Despair. Spiritual Warfare is the longest poem, and it is a battle! Poems from the Summit of the Pit by JR Kinney is a book worthy of a place on the shelf of any poetry lover.