Foreword Reviews

Unyielding Circumstances of Chronicles Undefined

Clarion Rating: 2 out of 5

Unyielding Circumstances of Chronicles Undefined is a plainspoken, energetic poetry collection for the faithful.

Octavia Kincy-Moten’s short, accessible poetry collection Unyielding Circumstances of Chronicles Undefined features catchy, devout lines and lessons for Christians.

The twenty-three poems in the book are structured as helpful instructions or sources of inspiration for people wishing to deepen their connections to their spiritual foundations. Peppered with joyous exclamation points, each poem is enthusiastic in tone, exhorting the necessity of obeying and worshiping God.

Throughout, the lesson is repeated that faithfulness creates opportunities in the material world. One poem, “XX. Different From the Rest,” states, “When we build or strengthen that personal relationship with God, / No weapon formed against us shall prosper in His eyes—a life and future unflawed!” These themes of faith are developed throughout, as—in spite of temptation, human shortcomings, disappointments, and other setbacks—the entries reiterate that belief is the answer to every problem.

Rollicking meters combine with end rhymes to make the couplets and verses feel memorable. Sly imagery alludes to certain scriptural verses, some of which are explicitly cited. Others are embedded in the poems and are subtler, as with “Faith, that mustard seed in the flesh.” These turns give the sense that enlightenment suffuses every experience and is imminent, with a little effort.

As a whole, the collection is hopeful and energetic, if light on imagery. A few pieces meditate on the tragedy of a personal loss, but every poem is capped with another reminder that spiritual succor heals all wounds. And the entries have a stream-of-consciousness style, sans any particular organizing principle. They share themes and structures, and they circle popular and well-known quotations from the Bible. As they identify new opportunities for spiritual empowerment, some seem to reflect on the abiding love available through faith, prayer, and patience. But without narrative progression, they elude deeper messages, resting in inspiration and brief meditations.

Throughout, illustrations, clip-art infographics, and stock images accompany the poems. For example, a photograph of Psalm 23 appears between a poem about being “rescued midstream” from pandemic anxiety and another piece about how patience guides people back to faith. While the images are not directly linked to the pieces, they suggest prayerful moods. They are eclectic, running the gamut from realistic photographs to muralesque drawings loaded with words and bright colors that underscore the general themes of the book.

Unyielding Circumstances of Chronicles Undefined is a plainspoken, energetic poetry collection for the faithful.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

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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