Soulful Reflections

Poetry - Inspirational
198 Pages
Reviewed on 06/01/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Soulful Reflections is a gritty, realistic but also an uplifting collection of poetic works by author Dr. Philip Morphew. As the title suggests, the poems primarily consist of thoughts of a reflective nature focused back on the author himself, although many of the emotions he experiences are highly relatable to readers and to the human experience in general. In bringing us closer to his repertoire of exploration, including such harrowing moments as loss, loving, meaning, death and freedom, the poet opens his heart and shares our own experiences. The words are constructed in such a way that they do not pass judgment on the feelings themselves, but uplift the experience as just another crazy part of life’s journey, of which we are all part.

Before the journey of his poetry begins, Dr. Philip Morphew offers readers a personal introduction and a guide to how to get the best out of his work by interacting with the emotions that it evokes in readers themselves. I thought this was a powerful addition to the work which intensified the reading process, particularly the closer I came to the more difficult topics such as Love and Death. Organized in a progressive theme, which made a lot of sense the more it continued, the poetic works are laid out beautifully, varying in style by their rhyme and rhythm. Some recommended favorites for me were the poignant modern observations of ‘Blink’ and the bleak but thought-provoking ‘Civilization Lost’. Overall, Soulful Reflections gives much more reading experience than meets the eye and is highly recommended.

Romuald Dzemo

Soulful Reflections by Dr. Philip Morphew is emotionally stimulating, a collection of poems that capture the movements of the soul in the hushed hours of its existence, the heart inebriated by sentiments of love and fulfillment, then the uncertain moments when "Her eyes/Subtly said / What her mouth / Failed to tell…" Uncertainty, spiritual acidity, longing, life and death, lust and intimacy, and those emotions we have no words for are captured in this poetry, reminding readers of their humanity, its evasive essence and the beauty of the encounter. The poet writes in a style that is evocative and free like the wind and imitating of the thrust of the human spirit. The simplicity of style and the familiar diction do not immediately imply clarity and obviousness in meaning because beneath the simplicity in style are deep and strong currents. It is hard not to feel a part of one's humanity in these poems, and in these lines, the author captures the universal theme of the quest for meaning and understanding:

Questions … so many questions
Linger unanswered.
Is she masking her pain,
Her heart sad and vacant?
Does she silently dream
Of a divinely delicious love
To enrich her soul?
Or is she trapped,
Paralyzed, traumatized
By unreasonable fear?"

Dr. Philip Morphew writes in a unique style and his poetry evokes the different seasons of the heart, infused with deep human sentiments. The lines are pregnant with meaning and the symbolism provokes thoughts on life, love, lust, and a lot of experiences that excite the mind. This is a gorgeous and delightful read for fans of poetry. Intellectual rich and emotionally exciting.

Sarah Stuart

Soulful Reflections opens with an overview of Dr. Philip Morphew’s take on life. His poetry is divided into six sections – seeking, surrender, love, lusciousness, liberty, and death. Each opens with an explanation of the feelings, experiences, and thoughts behind the poetic content and each poem has a blank page opposite for personal notes. Death has the longest introduction and yet it comprises only seven poems. Morphew leaves the individual to judge if they too believe in an afterlife where people can be contacted by clairvoyants. “Nothingness” would seem it indicate that he remains convinced. Our World Cries is a plea for more ecological care for our planet. Poetry is rarely so challenging, but Soulful Reflections is designed to make the reader think, and Dr. Morphew succeeds.

The poems in Soulful Reflections vary in length, though none exceed a page. One is as short as three lines, though it follows a four-line poem that appears to refer to the same unnamed “she” – names are not used, so readers might be prompted to think of a person special to them. Another three-liner occurs in the Liberty section entitled Echoes. The title poem, Soulful Reflections, is the sixth in section three, Love. My two personal favorites are Love Eternal; it is rooted in sorrow but offers joy in a love renewed. Lusciousness 4 – 9 And Endless Whispers (Liberty 5 – 9) ends beguilingly with “trust, therefore, I must”. Soulful Reflections by Dr. Philip Morphew is more than poetry; it causes readers to reevaluate their own lives.

Robin Goodfellow

Soulful Reflections by Dr. Phillip Morphew is a collection of poetry that details the joys and sorrows of being human, as well as the love humans are capable of expressing. The collection is separated into six parts. The first part, Seeking, reminds readers that people are seeking genuine human connections, and not just superficial ones we make through a screen. The second part, Surrender, is about looking outwards and seeing the beauty of the world. The third part, Love, portrays humans as creatures of love, simply because it is in our nature. The fourth part, Lusciousness, illustrates the importance of loving both yourself and the people around you. The fifth part, Liberty, talks about freeing ourselves from the normal trappings of life. The final part, Death, deals with our beliefs in the afterlife, as well as the consequences of not living our lives to the very fullest. Morphew, as his name may suggest, introduces a dreamlike quality in regards to love, and encourages the reader to explore the deeper facets of humanity.

While some of these themes tend to be repetitive, other poems offer a completely different perspective. For example, in the poem Civilization Lost, Morphew talks about people aimless moving on with their lives, never caring for one another, and only seeking other people out when we desperately need something. In a sense, we’re living corpses. And as corpses, we don’t have the capacity to love, whether it be ourselves or anyone else. If we allow ourselves to become this, we’re essentially isolating ourselves from everything that makes us human. I’ve heard the phrase before, but I didn’t think about what it truly meant until now. It ties back to the other poems Morphew revealed about love; that until we can fully understand it, there really is nothing separating us from the dead. Overall, the collection was refreshing. It reminds the reader of what it truly means to be human. It’s through this that we can understand other concepts, such as freedom and death, in their entirety. They don’t need to be feared, or even desired; through love, we can just accept them as they are.

Gisela Dixon

Soulful Reflections by Dr. Philip Morphew is a poetry collection inspired by Philip’s reflections on life with the good, the bad, and the ugly. In this book, Philip starts off with a brief background about himself, and his outlook in life. He writes that this poetry book is not just about the good things in life or positive emotions only such as hope, love, etc., but that it also acknowledges the tough and the ugly. The poems themselves reflect this wide range of emotions and life events. The book is divided into a few broad sections such as Seeking, Surrender, Love, Liberty, Lusciousness, and Death, with a short commentary at the beginning of each section. Each of these sections contains several poems that are related to the section topic or its theme and each poem is typically a page long.

Soulful Reflections is a collection that evokes many emotions. I liked the fact that this book isn’t just about love, hope, or laughter but instead dwells on the dark side of life too. In fact, if I had to pick one thing that I wish were slightly different in this book, it would be that human suffering or emotional trauma had been explored even more. Such events or emotions are all too common in the lives of people, and I feel perhaps some of the poems could have gone deeper. But still, overall, there is a balance in the book and I did like the poetry and composition. Philip writes with a nice rhythm to the poems and some of my favorite ones were from the section of Death and Surrender. Overall, this is a good read!

Ruffina Oserio

Soulful Reflections by Dr. Philip Morphew is a collection of poems that speak to humanity and articulate on a variety of themes — love, lust, desire, solitude, passion, pain, deep longing, connection, dreams, what it means to be human, hope and despair, and a lot more. The poet captures very interesting and intimate moments, allowing the lived or imagined experiences of the personae to speak to a universal human condition. The style moves freely and the rhythm is constant, at times musical. The author uses a familiar diction but transforms the simplicity of the style with witticism and the lyricism that permeate the collection.

I found many delightful poems in this collection and enjoyed how the author captures details — a movement of the heart, a whisper of the soul, a shadow, a breath, a fly, and many more. In “Aching Heart” the poet captures the restlessness that often overtakes the human heart in listless moments, using images that most readers will quickly identify with.

“Sleepless, restless torture overtakes her being:
Twist, turn, roll, thrash, her bed unmade.
Heart yearns for warm connect of luscious loving.
Insidious darkness continually seeks to invade.”

While Soulful Reflections offers beautiful poems for fans to savor, it also explores the journey of the human soul through time and explores themes that are both spiritual and mortal. At times it feels like experiencing eternity in an instance of mortality. The poet explores meaning in the absurd and asks questions that haunt the human spirit. Morphew’s poetry features beautiful and powerful insights on life and has a simplicity of style that makes it very accessible. A pure delight for fans of poetry and a collection that will remind most readers of their humanity.