by Natania Patterson
Westwood Books Publishing LLC

"Tomorrow will come
The dreamers will be doers
For they are filled
Filled with motivation"

In this inspiring collection of poetry, Patterson explores timeless topics of heartbreak and hope with deeply felt insights and intuitive convictions about life. With strong imagery and perceptive observations, this collection considers a wide range of topics and themes. From simple pleasures to soul-searching introspection, Patterson revels in the spectrum of experiences found in life. Poems about school, holidays, weddings, picnics, and the news describe events from everyday life. Poems about the importance of dreams, imagination, and religion mine the deeper places of the human experience. Patterson moves easily from lighthearted expressions to serious content, shifting tones easily and embracing the full gamut of her life’s journey.

The poet’s introduction prompts readers to make a personal connection with these poems and relishes the way readers’ emotional responses may vary. At the same time, she provides her own interpretations and biographical details in a brief explanation that precedes each poem. While many readers may enjoy this autobiographical rendering, others may feel these explanations may limit the personalized interpretation, application, and extension of the poetry. At times, these explanatory passages do seem unnecessary as her poems can stand alone as wondrous expressions of life’s ups and downs. In short, to read this collection is to feel inspired to persevere and to dream, to rejoice in fresh starts and to find “your calling / with an open heart / unceasingly.” These poems become offerings of wisdom particularly to young people seeking solace in the midst of struggle or encouragement and empowerment in life’s confusion.

In today’s world, which fuels anxiety with its demands and crushes self-esteem with its cruelty, poetry can serve an important purpose for teens. Patterson’s words have the power to soothe and comfort by making readers feel they are not alone in the world. Perhaps, her poetry can also serve as a model for young writers who value this literary form that allows for free and unfettered expression of ideas and emotions. Reviving poetry as a balm for modern times is important work. Patterson’s commitment is evident in the poem “A New Day” where she celebrates a voice within that would not surrender:

It declared to be heard
So, I stepped back into the light
To seize the moment
And realize that
Dreams come true

Other poems echo this message of a dream achieved. Who better to receive this message than young people in need of direction and support? Perhaps Patterson’s closing poem says it best when she considers the future and the soft cries and laughter of babies who, for her, are the “beautiful” people that “we encourage and guide.” She values the opportunity to “open their eyes to this world.” With this collection, she has done exactly that. Her courage and determination to share her personal insights distilled into poems with hopes of connecting to others are admirable. Her invitation to readers to find their own meaning in the collection is a reminder that words can see people through dark times. Patterson’s call to persistence and fulfillment is a worthy message for young people and is a vibrant reminder that words have the power to motivate, encourage, and celebrate.

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