Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
The Fight for Life by William T. Elliott is a volume of powerful poetry that moves and inspires. This award-winning author presents slice-of-life poems on a variety of subjects that go deep and wide, and that almost anyone can relate to in one way or another, or learn from. Most of all, you will be inspired by his journey from a twelve-year-old boy who was abused by a scout leader, to a young married man, to a college student, to a Vietnam veteran who began to hate himself after coming home from the war--which was understandable, since a lot of Americans hated returning soldiers too. This self-loathing isn't unique to veterans. Many experience regret, guilt, depression, PTSD, and mixed feelings. But Elliott's drove him to suicidal thoughts. Some of the poems are simple observations, and not all are about war. Some are about peace and forgiveness, while others are on the unique characteristics of animals, and commentary on nature. My favorites are about his emotions and experiences--deeply spiritual and touching. The ones about romance are nice, and you'll even find some humorous lines as well. Images punctuate the poems, though I think the poems stand fine on their own without them.
What I like about this volume of poetry is that it does more than just entertain. Any veteran or veteran's family reading it can take something away from it. Even if you aren't a veteran, these poems can help you understand what some veterans go through, regardless of which war it is. It may help some become less judgmental of soldiers. Some fights are external, some are internal, some are both. Elliot does a beautiful job showing you his life and what transpired through the years. And the recovery themes don't stop with veterans. The author also discusses his experience as a childhood sexual abuse survivor, and this too can help readers who still carry shame or confusion. To write a big chunk of your life in poems is an impressive task, and this author has accomplished it and then some. The Fight for Life by William T. Elliott is a work of poetry that you can linger over and return to time and again.