Poems from a Gypsy Heart
by Verle Jean

"I wonder in the heart of storm
What trees must feel to be shorn."

Encompassing a lifetime of experiences, reflections, and musings, Jean's poetry compilation is the roaring of her inner spirit, adamant on sharing her life's journey through evocative language in hopes that it will inspire others to live fully. Though "gypsy" is usually attributed to nomads, Jean's poetry turns this notion on its head by embracing the idea that she is not tethered to any particular place because the world is her home, a place to explore deeply.

From a stylistic perspective, the poetry is quick-hitting with mostly three- or four-word lines composing entire quatrains and giving the overall piece a free-flowing, aesthetically appealing quality. With over six hundred pages of poems spanning the entirety of Jean's eighty-seven years, the compilation is the epitome of universal relatability. There is something here that speaks to everyone.

In "Blackberries," the speaker's whimsical childhood experiences of picking blackberries, both the good and bad, are on display. Other poems like "A Country Drive" shed light on life in the country being surrounded by elements of nature, including but not limited to meadowlarks, acorns, pine cones, and bluejays. The rhythmic cadence of these poems, bolstered further by Jean's mastery of alliteration, gives them a musical feel best exemplified by "Toppled Tree," a piece that captures the winter of the tree's life as it exhales its final breath and sinks back into the ground from where it came. Conversely, poems like "The Mirage" and "Meditation" are imbued with metaphors like "time's impatient finger" and "meadows of the mind" to paint a more vivid picture for audiences. Above all else, Jean's poetry is fearless, a raw and authentic portrayal of the joys that the different phases of life have brought her, from childhood adventures to the birth of her children and grandchildren. In short, it is a chronicle in verse of a life well spent.

Return to USR Home