Apocalyptic 2020: Crisis to Tragedy
by Saundra T. Russell RN MA RDN

"Someone suggested formal Fridays in the age of Covid
It may be a great distraction"

In these poems of social commentary, readers engage in one of the most turbulent times in American history. With the main focus on America's wherewithal during the coronavirus pandemic, these pieces capture snapshots of quarantines and lockdowns, disrupted family lives and "quaran-teams," political divisiveness, and small peaceful moments. Readers find examples of faith where "Alas, these angels are our / Trumpets to heaven." Politics becomes the forefront in poems like "My Right-No Fight" and "Not a Goodbye to President Obama," which celebrate freedoms and personal choice. Other ones, like "The Future in a Family Tree," declare "The future is / Less about me / More about we" and remind readers that their existence is more than just for the present moment but for generations to come. Also, readers find positive, encouraging messages in poems of trust and faith: "Then I sang 'Lord make me an instrument of Thy peace.'"

By the collection's end, readers have traveled not only an individual's journey but a nation's. The realities of the Covid-19 pandemic that people have endured make poems like "2020 PTSD: Global Events That Have Affected All the Senses" universal. The book's incorporation of rhyme makes it a snappy, catchy compilation with a spoken word-like quality. The work's relevancy lies in its abilities to capture snapshots of times and places others may not seek or notice, ranging from the seemingly apocalyptic and insurmountable to the light at the pandemic's end. Because of its accessibility, this collection is appropriate for poetry lovers of all ages, and especially for those whose lives have been affected by one of the darkest periods Americans have ever faced.

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