"Poetry man, your destiny
has already been ordained.
You were meant to be a teacher,
a consummate storyteller,
otherworldly and mundane."

In this latest compilation of poetry from Saenz, fifty poems about love, hope, peace, nature, and meditation are collected for the reader’s enjoyment. Each of these poems is printed in a side-by-side nature, with the original English on the left and a Spanish version translated by both the author and his brother (who holds a doctorate in foreign language education) to ensure that the meaning and detail intended is not lost in translation. The overall themes of this collection are tranquil and reflective, even with titles like “Vagabonds” and “Human Struggles.” Finding beauty in every moment and circumstance, Saenz captures these moments of peace and frames them in contemplative thought to share with the reader.

With a refined style and calm perspective, the poet transports readers to each scene and location, leaving them to feel their troubles melt away. The built-in bilingualism of this book is certainly a notable feature considering that each language occupies half of the pages. Because of the expert nature of the translation, students and teachers of Spanish (or English) can be confident that care was taken as it relates to word choice and the emotional impact of the poem, as these are crucial components of any piece of poetry. The poems themselves are brief, tightly composed and structured, and just as conducive to a binge of emotions and imagery as they are for isolated and prolonged enjoyment. Considering the author’s 25 years of experience as a published poet, it’s easy to appreciate how each page, each line is expertly rendered for maximum effect, and readers will feel the fullness of his expressions even as each poem occupies only a page at a time.

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