Poetically Speaking: Artistically
by Thelma Cunningham

"He ran through valleys,
Over mountains and pathways,
And ran until he was delivered from all problems."

While Cunningham’s poetry compilation covers a range of emotions using a multitude of figurative devices, art forms, and experimental verse, the resonating themes are love and faith. With a combination of hundreds of poems and sixty-two original song lyrics, there is an undeniable substance with which audiences can engage.

In the first section, Cunningham best depicts the ever-changing seasons of love in “At Someone.” Using a mixture of repetition and imagery, she builds a rhythm for her poetry strongly reminiscent of musical lyrics. The poetry delves into all types of love—from “Silent Love” and “Wedding Day” to “Torn Heart”—but the poet’s fearlessness with her words is what stands out. Moreover, she is unafraid to foray into a myriad of poetic forms, including haikus and an ode to the moon that reflects the phases of a relationship.

In poems like “I Thought Just For A Moment” and “If Were ‘PEACE,’” Cunningham envisions peace as a pastel green, the color of rolling hills, and encourages readers to strip away the chaos of daily life and embrace God’s loving presence. She juxtaposes the idea of peace with the Black Lives Matter movement later in the poetry. For aficionados of spiritual awakening, “Jesus Love” and “Desert Demons” are among the many poems that unpack complex topics like temptation and unconditional love. Nevertheless, the most unique section of the anthology is the soulful melodies like “NOTHING IN THIS WORLD LAST FOREVER” that she has composed. Cunningham’s work is simultaneously comprehensive and creative with a strong grasp of poetic structure, an understanding of when to break form for the desired effect, and an undoubtedly well-informed perspective on the mindset of modern society.

Return to USR Home