Foreword Reviews

From My Heart to Your Heart

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

From My Heart to Your Heart is beautifully suited for those looking for a poetry collection with Christian leanings.

Alicia G. Smith-Mackall’s collection From My Heart to Your Heart is a spiritual journey that moves between poems toward a place of peace and acceptance.

Throughout, Smith-Mackall sprinkles in touches of rhyme as well as narrative poems that lean toward the confessional. By utilizing transparency and accessible verses, she’s able to reach all audiences—not necessarily only those who are already fans of poetry. By revering the idea that words are meant to be read, even in poetry, she’s able to transcend what’s often seen as a barrier in this genre: the ability to reach people without pretense. However, the poems also tend to stick with what seems to be “safe.” There’s little experimentation here.

Although many of Smith-Mackall’s poems tackle faith, she manages to weave together works that steer clear of preaching and appealing only to others who share that faith. As the work progresses, though, the focus on faith becomes repetitive.

The work is adept at making verses and stanzas playful. In “Tick Tock,” alliteration turns into a near tongue twister:

Tick tock goes the clock after spending time
With God. I then wander from room to
Room, doing a little bit of this and a
Little bit of that; the clock ticks on.

While some of the line breaks feature weak word choices, the overall flow of the poems is captivating.

Even those with a remedial understanding of biblical history will be able to pick out homages to Christianity. For example, the first line of the poem “Heaven” is “In the beginning, when I,” which echoes Genesis. The poet goes on to say she had a vision of a place she wanted to know, which is indicative of both heaven on earth (Eden in Genesis) and heaven in the afterlife.

Each of Smith-Mackall’s chapters begin with a selection of biblical verses that help guide the mood of the forthcoming works. The book incorporates pastoral poetry techniques, which are quite fitting for this subject matter, and instill harmony and peace with nature as a centerpiece. The chapter “Seasons Change” is especially rich with this underutilized poetic form, particularly in the poems “Fall” and “Peace.”

From My Heart to Your Heart is beautifully suited for anyone looking for a collection with Christian leanings or seeking an uplifting, inspirational, and motivational book.

Reviewed by Jessica Mehta

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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