My Reflections of Me: A Collection of Poems
by Amanda Clayton

"As the pen caresses this paper, my emotions paint the pain running deep within my veins."

In her first poetry collection, Amanda Clayton pours her feelings directly onto the page. Each poem in My Reflections of Me is just that, a reflection of Clayton's intense emotional yearnings. As though writing in a journal, Clayton uses the first person to directly express her thoughts, which reverberate with longing. These poems are stories of love lost and found.

Much of Clayton's work is purely personal, but in pieces like "Blessed Assurance" we get a glimpse of the greater societal tragediespoverty and abuseshe and her neighbors face. "I've been reassured as my heart cured," Clayton writes, as she observes the resilience of inner city children in spite of their problems. Rhymes run through her lines, hip hop style, adding to the urban atmosphere. "Ima keep at it," she says, using the popular slang contraction for "I am going to." She also drops ending consonants, as in playin' and lyin', giving her lines the feel of a rap song.

At times, common rhyme schemes distract from the pure emotion, as the poems pair love and dove, or rain and pain in predictable fashion. Repetition of concepts, like struggle and strife, further obscure the poet's earnest attempt to share her innermost feelings. Romantic musings become overwrought as she strives for emphasis with dramatic words and presentationone poem is printed entirely in capital letters. Strongest in its quieter, more observant moments, My Reflections of Me reveals a new poet experimenting with her chosen art.

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