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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
The Collection by Jacqueline Belle features elegant and passionate poems that explore themes about love, hope, nature, and sadness. The third poem, “I Know,” combines the soft, invigorating feelings from nature with the unspoken words and lingering questions between two people. In the poem “Reach Up,” the narrator inspires the need to reflect upon dreams and imaginations and to allow one to live and savor life’s different moments: “Let reality's sounds, smells, flavors and textures to surround you/ Engulf you.” While some poems are passionate, others are striking and realistic, exploring different aspects of love. In the poem “My Heart Lays Open,” the narrator experiences heart-rending pain from those they care about while the poem “Cherish” is about an enduring love that remains steadfast through times of happiness and darkness.
The poems drew me in by their clever use of language that engages the senses, such as in the first poem “My Morning Coffee”: “Steam curls upward/ creeping slowly/ under my chin/ I breathe in the thick/ musky smell.” Others employ metaphors to portray various circumstances. The symbolism held my attention as I worked on deriving the meaning of the poem. In “The Tree,” for instance, a boy picks the fruits of a tree without regard for the well-being of the tree. Personification utilized in the collection allowed me to connect even deeper with the themes explored in the poems such as in the poem “Sadness” that presents the feeling of sadness as a living thing that whispers and has ghostly fingers. Jacqueline Belle’s The Collection brings together poems that empower and inspire the imagination.