The Pondering Heart

by Lesline Nembhard
Trafford Publishing

"When loving, and caring, becomes your only religion, True humility is attained."

Jamaican born teacher and author, Lesline Nembhard's first attempts at poetry began in high school. That early result entitled "Nature!" is a poem with a more traditional rhyming pattern of verse and seems a youthful contrast to the more contemplative and complex works that emerge throughout The Pondering Heart, an inspiring collection of work that spans over forty years. While there is clearly the personal soul-searching element to Nembhard's writing, as she delves into topics of life, death, and everyday struggles, overall the selections are bound with a continuous religious thread. Here the emphasis is on the author's connection to Jesus Christ and realizing his importance in one's life's journey.

From the opening "Father Abba" testimony, to revelations within "Humility" and "My Witness", readers will see God as the solid anchor in Nembhard's life; a world filtered through his hands, and Nembhard's intentions to follow his lead. Through a poor leper's praise in "Psalm of Thanksgiving", to the lengthy poetic narrative of "The Dreamer," the details of which bring to mind the story of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", Bible references are key. While there is a fluidity to other topics broached in this work, including the author's identifying with the history of Black women, the birth of her son, times passage, and the essence of human frailties, the spiritual component appears at the forefront. Consider "Sleeplessness," whereby as the poet renders the benefits of counting sheep, the greater focus is on the wonders of prayer.

Ultimately these are poems to be read, distilled, then read again. It is Nembhard's "hope that readers find comfort and solace in her words. Her own powerful draw to God, in combination with her poetic efforts to awaken our thoughts and spiritual destinies, seem a heartfelt and meaningful message that invites further pondering."


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