This is a small chapbook of religious-themed poetry. I’d assumed that the poet was a resident of Springfield, Missouri, since the publishing house is here in town, but I could be mistaken. The About the Author on the back indicates that the poet was originally from Tobago and was a school teacher in NYC. Searching briefly on her name on the Internet yields a lot of small businesses run by V.R. Williams. Trying the publishing house, Gilead Publishing, in the old search engine yields a number of results publishing religious-themed books much like this one. So I have no idea about the source of this particular book. You can’t buy it on Amazon. So I might have a real collectors’ item here.
As I said, it’s a chapbook collection of religious poems dealing with the poet’s relationship with God and whatnot. Some poems venture into eulogies for people the poet knew. But it’s that sort of thing.
Is it any good? Well….
It’s not bad in a revulsion sort of way. The poems are not free verse and have end rhymes, so the author put some thought into them. The grammar is good, unlike some poems personal friends of mine have written. But there’s nothing particularly evocative or memorable in the book.
I can’t help but contrast the collection with that of James Kavanaugh, the self-defrocked priest whose collection I read in November. His was a late 1970s collection of the period zeitgeist for free-wheelin’ poets in turtlenecks and with hardback contracts didn’t even bother to end-rhyme, and his words pretty much washed over me like water, too.
You know what? Ms. Williams and Mr. Kavanaugh both took the time and effort to put their thoughts, different as they were, into some sort of structure and to share them with others. Good on ’em. If it doesn’t work out that they’re immortal, so be it.
I must be in the Christmas spirit or something to not be snarking all over them both, but there you go.