Calvert Tynes is a poet, and this book is his open letter to and about God. Each page is packed solid with soul-searching words that describe an emotional journey through grace, faith, love, and the unexplainable losses and challenges faced during the course of the human life.
I have to admit, my appetite for poetry has lessened since the days when, as a young child, I read the classic poets. All poetry requires the reader to take their time, to explore phrases –sometimes, even words--one at a time, to mull them about and roll them on your tongue in order to press out all the flavor. Tynes writes from the heart, and although some of the meanings are lost on me—for this is his journey, not mine—I can still appreciate the art of turning a phrase, and it appears as though much time was devoted to producing this book.
The relationship Tynes writes about and has with his Maker oozes through the pages, as a deep and personal story. There is no lightness or airiness to his devotion to God; instead, it is a heavy and deeply-felt part of his very existence. For some, it may seem too hard to understand—such a personal account , for example of a newborn diagnosed as blind, is something that is foreign to me. Unlike a novel or non-fiction book, where the writer paints the scene for you, this is raw emotion and words describing thoughts and feelings. I really wanted to understand, but I felt a disconnect to Tynes, because what he writes is familiar and understandable to him-- But not clear enough to me.
As I read, I often felt like someone watching someone else’s God story. I had truly hoped some of the poems would reverberate with me, feel similar , enrich my Christian walk and make me a partner in these events, but I never did get there. Not only are some of the poems heart-wrenching, and hard to digest, but they are very emotional and honest. It is not a bright, easy read, by any means. But if you love the process of mulling over a heart’s cry, you will enjoy this book.
Although a slim volume, with 60 plus poems, plus quotes on other pages, this is one to keep by your nightstand, because it will take you a fair amount of time to move through it and to truly appreciate the effort and emotions contained therein.
Review by Alicia AccardiClosed the Cover