The Lightness of Being

Poetry - Inspirational
96 Pages
Reviewed on 04/11/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Some books are real sources of inspiration and invite the reader to deep reflection, as in the case of The Lightness of Being by Gorman Poetry. This collection brings together 32 poems from the poet's most recent works (Poet Gone Wild and Soujour) and is characterized by short lines and a pleasant musicality. In The Lightness of Being, the reader will find food for thought about love, forgiveness, happiness, and above all, Oneness. Overall, The Lightness of Being will invite you to ask yourself meaningful questions on many important topics.

The Lightness of Being is not the first book by Gorman Poetry I have read, but every time I finish one, I am enchanted by the ease with which the poet manages to talk about complex topics in a simple and clear way. The themes that I liked the most are forgiveness and the power to choose how to react, which are the most important things society needs to learn. Above all, though, The Lightness of Being is fascinating in the way Gorman Poetry treats this and the other themes. He has a knack for touching the heart of a sensitive reader. He also has a delicate and honest way of writing, and I believe this is what makes the collection valuable. I have not found many books comparable to The Lightness of Being for inventiveness and sensitivity. For my part, I recommend it to all readers who are looking for a collection of poems that will inspire them to live more happily.

Jamie Michele

The Lightness of Being by Gorman Poetry is a collection of the author's original poetry and centers around a theme of interconnectedness, with the harmony of all moving parts being indivisibly woven from the same cloth. The work employs a rhyme scheme using assonance, completing verses with end rhymes. These are composed in both as AABB series of couplets that rhyme successively and share four verses in a stanza, and also an ABAB scheme that is used independently and sometimes switched even in the same poem. This includes work such as Heart of Godness, which really digs deep into the theme of oneness and alternates between each in any given stanza.

Gorman Poetry brings together a unique collection of over thirty poems in The Lightness of Being. I found the parallels of the concept that each poem is independent, but still equally linked in the body of the compilation as a whole. The message of oneness in a book where all of the poems are a part of one was not lost on me. There are, of course, standouts, my favorite being the clever Only As We and the intensely philosophical wordplay that reads, “try being two, and what would you do, if you were like me, and not the One you?” The tone is light-hearted but the verses themselves are weighty and I found myself frequently setting the book down to take in what I'd just read. Overall, this is a worthy collection that I think those who choose to pick it up will enjoy.

Marta Tandori

Well-chosen words convey all that is beautiful, ugly, and true about the human condition in The Lightness of Being, eloquently crafted by Paul J. Gorman. Gorman’s words convey emotionality without being emotional, love without being sappy, and insight without being “preachy.” Instead, he is profoundly aware of his defects as a human being and, by accepting and forgiving himself for his shortcomings, he has learned to love himself, expressing that love and awareness in his book of poetry. Universal questions asked by all of us form the foundation of “Meaning That Lives” – “What’s the point of being alive, what’s the purpose, why even try? Where’s the meaning in trying to survive, knowing I’m leaving but not why I arrived.” In “I’ll Love Being You”, Gorman asks, “Is the power of life to discern truth from illusion, the wheat from the chaff, wisdom from confusion?” while his words in “My Moment with You” remind us that our time on earth is finite when he asks, “What will be here in a thousand years? Will the sun still shine to dry all the tears? Will there still be rain to wash away the pain? Will the earth remain with nothing to gain?”

The Lightness of Being is rich with words that connote wisdom from years lived, mistakes made, and a life embraced. In “Always One in My Eyes”, the poet states, "The problem with the past the way it’s received is not what I did but in the way it’s perceived, through a harsher lens of right and wrong, what’s good and bad, weak and strong." Deeply spiritual, Paul J. Gorman’s book of poetry teaches the power of forgiveness and recognizing one’s flaws, evident in “All is Forgiven” and in “One and One Makes You.” He wants his audience not just to read his poetry, but to be drawn in by it and to feel the raw emotions conveyed by his words. Goodness, peace, love, forgiveness, and truth are not only the foundations for The Lightness of Being but are clearly the tenets by which Gorman lives. His is a body of work that’s evocative and invites his audience to let the words take them on a spiritual journey that’s pretty much impossible to resist.