Heart Expressions: A Book on Poetry
by Alysha Potente
Tellwell Talent

"The history of the creative arts is as old as humanity. Poetry itself has existed for centuries."

Dedicated poet Potente has constructed a book of and about one of humanity’s oldest forms of expression—poetry. Her work is divided into two major sections: the first, a collection of her poetic compositions; the second, a historical analysis of and guide to writing poetry in several classic formats. Each of Potente’s poems is accompanied by expressive photographs that do much to enhance the feeling already expressed in the words she has carefully chosen. For example, the opening work, “Out in the Meadow,” describes a girl alone in nature: “And she’s floating. / In and out of dreams.” The image given in words is then underscored by the perfectly posed photograph depicting a girl, arms raised as if joyfully dancing, in the midst of a golden meadow.

Potente’s poems focus on a plethora of human feelings and experiences. “Visual Beauty” reminds us that we must “fulfill our aging outer human self,” with its thought-provoking companion picture of a female face being injected with what one assumes is a wrinkle-removing formula. In “River of Hope,” the poet is swimming, caught in the rain, fending off a storm, and yet also able to recognize “puddles of gain.” A figure in a hoodie hunched over a laptop accompanies the dark piece named “Trolls,” which laments the prevalent perils of insulting and denigrating others via social media. A further comment on that issue appears in “Bully,” in which the poet exhorts: “Don’t hurt another, no matter how unhappy you feel inside…we are all humans and we all have our rights.” Love, even sexual encountering, is celebrated with works expressing the joys of “Sensual Touch” (“It’s passion in and among the sheets”), while “The Elderly” are kindly venerated in respectful language (“Admire their wisdom…”) and matched to a bright photo of a senior female laughing amidst a bevy of colorful flowers.

The poetic portion of Potente’s diligently created collection ends with an etheric message concerning “Angels”: “They watch over us by being translucent.” What follows is well-ordered prose in three brief segments: “History of English Poetry,” “Types of Poetry,” and “How to Write Poetry Analytically.” Genres cited include acrostics, ballads, elegies, epics, epistles, cinquains, odes, limericks, sestinas, and sonnets, each carefully parsed from their history, mainly in England, along with their gradual development and the persons associated with each. Potente suggests methods that readers can employ to compose their own poetic works. Acrostic poems, in which the first letter of each line will spell a specific word, can easily be envisioned and created even by children. The author helpfully provides numbered steps for writing each of the explored genres. Potente herself has been creating poetry for more than twenty years, beginning in her youth, and encourages readers to lose themselves in her expressive language and then embark upon their own poetic expressions. Her book is a journey in sound and sight, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually touching the reader. It should garner a grateful audience who will want to follow in the footsteps she has purposely and poignantly left for them.

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