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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Proverbs of My Seasons: Poetry of Transition by Pat Stanford is a collection of beautiful, sometimes warm, sometimes soul-searching poems that capture the different seasons of the author’s soul and sentiments that are both intimate and universal. In this collection, Pat Stanford explores themes of love, friendship, humanity, longing, and desire. The poems are beautifully written, each reflecting a sensation that evokes a specific season in the cycle of growth.
Some are very intimate, allowing the poet to explore the deep recesses of the heart. For instance, when speaking about love in “Key to my Heart” the poet awakens the consciousness that the first love we receive is the one we give ourselves; it isn’t outside, but buried in our throbbing hearts: “Inside of me, deep down therein, /love was locked inside my heart; / kindness wouldn’t pry it; sighs wouldn’t move it,/ yet it was always there from the start.” Then there is the searching that the heart experiences when the body comes into contact with another body and the author captures the sense of intimacy and the revolution it causes.
Here is a collection of poems so rich in their symbolism, so soothing in the diction and delightful in the music; poems that resonate powerfully because they communicate the realities that define the rhythm of the heart. The symbolism is strong and comes across as one of the poet’s most refined gift. The lines are short, rhythmic, but they are composed of words that are worlds in themselves, keys to unlock hidden sentiments and powerful emotions in readers. Proverbs of My Seasons: Poetry of Transition is a collection that will delight fans of poetry, thanks to the depth of insight and the spiritual character of the poems. At times, Pat Stanford’s poetry felt like two hearts listening to each other’s rhythms — the reader’s and the persona’s — with each heart hearing itself in the other.