The Myth of Being
by Elizabeth Clayton
Author Reputation Press, LLC

"The last hibiscus - a morning discovery,
Crimson red, soft and feathery;
A full-blown peace rose with
Yellow petals outlined by pale pink veins"

Sometimes the act of creating art is taking painful moments and experiences and turning them inside out in order to find beauty. In this book of poetry, the author recalls numerous events in her life, from growing up without much in the way of resources to saying hello and goodbye to spouses as an adult. As the author was able to extend beyond the rural boundaries of her youth, she was opened up to new ideas and experiences that shaped her perspective as reflected from poem to poem. Interspersed with original works of art, what it means to be alive and present is explored a memory or a feeling at a time, giving the reader a clear view of the author’s life while opening up questions about how present they are in their own.

The fusion of art and poetry creates an emotionally stirring read that engages both the eyes and the imagination. Even when addressing somber topics, Clayton’s style is such that it views many of these moments with hindsight, acknowledging the pain and the struggle while appreciating simpler times or the better side of times past. Drawing imagery from spiritualism, the natural world, and family life, the words paint a picture just as vivid as the included paintings. Most poems include a footnote that shines a personal light either on the time of the poem’s creation or its rediscovery and cataloging for publication, telling a bigger story that carries from selection to selection. Honest and unafraid, these poems work well as a beacon out of challenging times, proving the way out and conveying it in a flourishing, sincere way.

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