Prayer, Praise and Poetry
by Susan Champion
Xlibris UK

"Are you gambling with your life?
If you foster anger, bitterness, strife,
You may be gambling with your health
More important, surely, than your wealth!"

Much as the title suggests, this book of poetry has a significant focus geared towards spirituality and religion. However, with more than 100 poems, there’s a strong variety of topics extending beyond the aforementioned praise and prayer. The latter two-thirds of the book is divided up into sections of poems on nature and environmentalism, war, family, grieving, and lighthearted matters. Each poem is brief, lasting only a page or two, allowing the reader to read as much or as little as they want at a time. Drawing inspiration from the glory of God and the folly of man, the parents' love for their children, or the violence of combat, there’s a poem in this book for just about any occasion.

The author of these poems ventures off into a few different forms and styles of poetry but seems most comfortable with varying kinds of quatrains. Some of the poems come complete with a short explanation when relevant at the end if more background information is helpful in understanding the motivation and message of a particular poem. In the praise section, often these explanations include a specific Bible verse that ties into the message of the poem or which served as its inspiration. As far as poetry books go, this is longer than the average, so readers may be inclined to break the collection up into several readings, perhaps focusing on a single topic or two per session. Unlike many poets, Champion uses the medium more directly as a storyteller, allowing the reader to personalize any poems with their own perspective rather than having one forced upon them, which makes this a very entertaining read.

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