(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal
Devoted to English Language and Literature)
Shine, Marie. A Potpourri of Poems. Lulu.com, 2011. Pp. 340. Price: $18.34/-. ISBN-13: 978-1447732112
Reviewed by Jim Valero
Discussing the elements that make a poem powerful and transcendent, English poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge arrived at the conclusion that, “Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power and claims the name of essential poetry.” Indeed, reading Marie Shine’s book of poems ‘Potpourri of Poems’, one cannot but give Ms. Shine’s work the name of essential poetry; essential on account of the great pleasure the poems give the reader as he/she encounters in poem after poem the power that can only come from honesty, simplicity of style and the profound sense of empathy and human warmth which permeate her work. In this respect, it is indeed telling that in the first poem in the book, “The New Year”, the poetic voice expresses her wish to “fill it [the New Year] with love, friendship, and cheer/for others as well as ourselves,” for love, friendship and cheer are sentiments that lie at the core of Ms. Shine’s poetic work as she writes from the heart about everyday life as all of us go through, with its ups and down, its silliness and bemusing irony, its tender and loving moments as well as its lonely rooms with open windows, the heart breaking yearnings of a lover that is gone far away, the beloved friend passing away. These are but a few of the themes and subject matter in Ms. Shine’s ‘A Potpourri of Poems’, for the scope and reach of her work is too vast to be mentioned here. One thing is certain, what one finds in this book is indeed essential poetry, for one feels compelled to return over and over again for the pleasure and the inspiration each poem brings into our lives.
About the Reviewer:
Jim Valero is currently a professor of English literature at the Autonomous University of Mexico.