Poems from a Gypsy Heart
by Verle Jean

"I’d never choose to leave it
no astronaut am I
I will never leave the earth
for want of sky!"

Kudos go to any poet who can entertain readers and keep them spellbound across 660 pages. Jean has provided a smorgasbord of poetry written from her gypsy heart. Readers can enjoy poetic tidbits that are short and written for fun—page fillers which enchant. Some notable examples of these are “Fingers” (making shadows on the wall), “Blackberries” (a clever encounter with a bear in a berry patch), and “to write best” (offering edgy advice for authors). Other readers’ tastes will lean more toward quality poems with depth of thought, inviting one to a banquet of hidden fare to be digested more slowly. Examples of these pieces include “trees in a storm," “Fogbound," “Time Lapse," and the poignant “old woman dying." Per the book’s title, gypsies show themselves within several poems. Whether seen in “summer’s golden hours” or “winter’s gypsies” going hungry, “travelling on the go” with “no time to grieve,” these vagabonds stir something within a reader’s soul that longs to follow their caravans.

The author should be commended for writing and assembling this collection of over 600 of her own poems. Although randomly organized, the table of contents and index provide some aid for browsing and/or navigation. The cover and inside illustrations are also the work of this multi-talented author. The stanzas are often short, providing the perfect venue to showcase Jean’s knack for rhyming verse. Punctuation and capitalization, even within titles, are in limited supply, almost as if whisked away by the wind (which is mentioned 150 times in this book). Demonstrating that the author’s thoughts tend toward the ethereal, several other terms are referenced numerous times. Yet there is an undeniable charm to this feature, proving that repetition creates its own melody.

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