Earthen Vessel: Inspirational Prose and Verse
by Patricia H. Marino, Ph.D.

"We fail to see, the face of God
can be that of me or you."

Focusing on five primary themes—adoration, life, lessons, love, and legacy—this compilation not only seeks to inspire the reader with strong poetry and prose but also infuses the spirit with the ability to become more self-aware. Poems on spirituality and faith are not uncommon; however, Marino uses her background as a coach and mentor to simplify the understanding process for her audience. From the get-go, the metaphor of humanity, and the human body in particular as the earthen vessel, fittingly depicts the body as malleable, molded by one’s experiences and beliefs.

While the prose is meaningful, the poetry tugs at the heartstrings. In the title poem, the analogy of the Master Potter healing “a cracked pot” with love is eye-opening. Perhaps the most intriguing and distinguishing factor of this piece is the interactivity; at the end of each section, Marino triggers self-reflection in her readers with a set of probing questions. The collection’s experience is incomplete without completing these questions.

In poems like “Touch Me,” the staircase structure emphasizes the notion of appreciating what one has. Moreover, “The Face of God” spectacularly highlights specific qualities—from one’s attitude to one’s faith—that can ultimately help others see divinity within the individual. One such example is Rae Marino, who is featured later in the compilation as someone who valued and recognized strength in the identity of others. The concept of legacy and identity are indeed thought-provoking and insightful as the focus seems to lie in how one’s character and integrity can shape both the past and future generations. What makes this book a meaningful read is that it goes beyond the expression of one’s emotions to readers; instead, the compilation brings readers directly into the work and impels them to reflect.

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