Friday, August 7, 2015

To the Heart: A poetry Collection Book Review


To the Heart: A poetry Collection

by Gina McKnight, Release Date March 2015


Book Review by Omer Tarin
Renowned Poet/Writer & Research Scholar, Pakistan


It was a great pleasure to receive here a lovely new book of poetry, containing a fine selection of poems by the American poet, Gina McKnight. This slim volume, entitled To the Heart is published in March 2015, and contains a veritable feast of 42 poems. According to the information provided on the book, To the Heart is the first volume in a projected series of poetry books, hopefully to be brought out soon.

Gina McKnight belongs to Ohio, USA, where she lives with her beloved horses and family. She began to write at a very young age, and though she also writes prose regularly, her particular muse excels in the art of poetry. As this present volume testifies, a special talent is at work. As already stated, Gina, apart from being a fine and highly talented poet, is also an avid equestrian, who keeps horses and corresponds with fellow horse lovers all over the world, both these special qualities, her poetic expression and equestrian passion, finding ample scope and combination in a number of notable poems in this volume. Two that come strongly to mind are ''Dock horses'' and ''Infinity'', which utilize equine related imagery with considerable effect whilst also talking about larger issues of life. For example, the dock horses are ''Dappled and grey/Their tails swishing through time'' as they continue to hold on, to ''what's true''. Similarly, in the poem ''Infinity'' several horse-riding/equitation terms become larger metaphors for actions and deeds in everyday life, almost idiomatic in their tone ''Off the bearing rein/My feet pivot to unseen things'' and ''Flying change of leads/Where circles become squares''.

Gina writes over a considerable range of topics and emotions, and a number of poems have special appeal for their powerful articulation of the emotions such as love and passion. People live and they love, they find physical and spiritual expression for their love/s in the 'melding', the coming together of lovers in the loving embrace and the joyous union. Gina highlights these aspects very beautifully, and I feel, very lyrically, and perhaps, these poems of love and loving are the best in the volume. In a poem such as ''Evening's kiss'' the chiming of a clock or bells as evening time descends, becomes something of an ''Angel's chorus'' when eyes meet and gaze into each other with a unique quality. In ''Desire'' there is a semi ethereal resonance again, a delicate sensual use of sound and image, as ''Your eyes rest in mine'' and then ''There's no more room/No more space/No more wasting time'', for 'hurricanes' of desire are blowing, through the window of the heart cleaning the cobwebs away and bringing new joy and awakening. In ''Naive heart'' the poet, in an almost mystical vein, talks of ''Dying each day/A thousand times'', and finds uncertainty and a certain unresolved mystery in 'A heart misplaced/In dense forest resides'. While in ''Reconnaissance'' a lover asks that love and togetherness should not become a bond, or bondage, a 'possession', but should remain a free moving, flowing sensibility, a mutual celebration of those 'unseen things' that ''bring substance/and reveal unspoiled love'.

In some other poems in this collection, Gina goes on to objectify various thoughts and feelings in a very terse and beautiful manner indeed, in my opinion delving into the deepest wellsprings of her art ­ an excellent example is the small but very focused and 'gathered' poem, entitled ''Fate''...
 ­­
''You are the poem
I dream of writing,

The landscape
I long to paint,

The flashing star
I reach for,

The hand
that holds my fate.''

Here, brevity and simplicity combine very effectively to create a highly charged lyricism and harmony that is of the best creative order that reminds one of the writings of Emily Dickinson or even Keat's sonnets. A spontaneous and 'natural' poetry, for was it not Keats who once said that: ''If poetry comes not as naturally as leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all'', or words to that effect? Here, indeed, this ideal is closely attained.

At the start of the volume, Gina quotes the American poet Maya Angelou, who said that: ''The idea is to write it [i.e poetry] so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart'' ­ in other words, poetry is and probably should have a certain emotional appeal that reaches out straight to listeners and readers, enters their hearts as it were. Probably, the title of this book is also linked to this idea of linking/speaking 'to the heart'. And this volume does this, quite frequently; it touches and speaks to our hearts.

Apart from the literary merits, the book itself is a small work of art, so beautifully produced and printed and laid out; and I must give extra credit to Gina McKnight for this, and I hope that many readers will appreciate her fine efforts in bringing together beautiful written words and quality printing and publishing, in a truly appreciable whole. I wish her and her new volume much success and good wishes and look forward to her future endeavors, in time.

Thank you, Omer, for your kind review...


From Ohio USA, Gina began writing at an early age. Her poetry has appeared in international anthologies as well as literary journals. To the Heart will intrigue, resonate and inspire. Each poem will slide down the passageways and straight to the heart.

Read more reviews at Gina's amazon Author Page
To purchase an autographed copy, send an email to - gmcknight11@gmail.com. 


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