This is a truly powerful collection of poems, thought provoking, poignant and hard hitting.
There is an honesty in the writing that cuts through the noise and excuses like a sharp knife. The words are so well crafted by someone who seems to be well read, thus well trained, as well as gifted.
At the start of each poem is a Bible verse, following the Gospel of Luke from start to finish, each offering inspiration for the writing. It provides a theme or concept that sparks the author’s imaginative response, framed by the context of his life. I would certainly advise reading the verse before the poem, to offer additional insight into each piece. It is as though Drew has created a new genre of Bible study.
Reading the poems I felt like I needed more. They cry out to be performed, by a skilled actor who can really communicate their depth of meaning and emotion. Some reminded me of rap music lyrics, not an arena I know much about but one that I imagine draws out the emotion and power of the words.
So I then looked up Drew Jackson on YouTube and social media, I found some videos of him delivering some of his pieces… I recommend you do the same, it is well worth it.
Writing poetry is a skill I so admire, being able to refine language to a few words that communicate so much more than prose, and still make it beautiful. When coupled with the themes of faith, life, politics, community and social issues, inspired by the Bible and created by a gifted wordsmith, the works of Drew I find quite inspiring.
Such powerful writing. Poignant and personal. Profound, sometimes like reading the book of Proverbs.
This collection is an extensive body of work with hundreds of poems. I especially enjoyed the pieces around the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the poem called Two Others, about the two thieves on the cross, from Luke 23, that inspired my own novel, Beneath the Tamarisk Tree.
Thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.