Soul Grasping Poetry and More
by Phyllis Wiley
Trafford Publishing

"Original God, who created both you and me
Original God who died to set us free
He created us in his image, to Love one another
We were NOT created to kill our brother"

The use of poetry to express one's spirituality and religious convictions is nothing new. Many of the writers of the Bible inserted a few poems here and there in their accounts. In fact, some entire books in the Bible are written in poetic form. Modern Christian poets such as Ruth Harms Calkin and Helen Steiner Rice have kept this tradition alive, and so the author is in very good company with her own heartfelt book of inspirational verse.

Wiley's poetry overflows with her love for God and her firm conviction that Jesus Christ is the answer the world is seeking for its many woes. Unpretentious and straightforward, her poems range from addressing social problems such as abuse, lack of respect, and gang violence to the more personal issues of the heart. An African American and native of North Carolina, she makes frequent use of her local dialect in her word choices. The resulting effect is that her verse sounds real and down-to-earth and is not simply an exercise in stringing together flowery expressions. Since the stated purpose for her poetry is to provide help and healing to those who may be struggling with hopelessness, the clarity of her chosen style is appropriate. The almost rap-like rhythm and rhyme of many of the pieces also succeeds in bringing her points and ideas home to her readers.

While many of her poems stem from personal experiences, the lessons Wiley has learned along the way are universal. Almost every reader, even those who do not share the author's faith, will find something positive to learn from this collection.

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