Poetry Diversified: An Anthology of Human Experience

Compiled by Lucinda Clark
P.R.A. Publishing (2013) 
ISBN 9780984014231
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (9/14)

Article first published as Book Review: ‘Poetry Diversified,’ Compiled by Lucinda Clark on Blogcritics.

As a young girl, I always attempted to write poetry. I remember that I fought with myself over making the lines rhyme and found it was something I was never able to accomplish.  I never considered that in poetry the lines do not have to rhyme or that there are so many different types. For me, poetry can be short and sweet or even long and heartbreaking. Surprisingly enough, poetry can evoke more emotion in five minutes than a full-fledged romance novel, be it happy or sad. That is exactly what I found to be true in “Poetry Diversified.”

“Poetry Diversified” is an anthology which includes the winners of the 2012 Poetry Matters Contest, compiled by Lucinda Clark. The book is divided into segments by the age groups of the winners: Middle School, High School, Adult and Senior. The introduction tells us that rather than try to categorize the poetry by a particular subject, these life experiences are better suited by age. I fully agree with this as I am completely amazed at what I have read from many of these poets, young and old. 

I cannot believe the life experiences that a middle school age young person can have. “Life on a Paper,” written by Lauren Welch of Miami, FL, expresses the young girl’s need to find happiness. Now this poem is extremely deep and without spoiling the words of this precious piece, I would say that more young people feel insecure about their bodies and they are starting to feel this way at such a young age where those things should not even matter. Perhaps I forgot what it felt like being in middle school when the world around me was changing and I had to figure out how to fit in. 
This poem is sad and heartbreaking all at the same time and it is real and full of hope. 

On page 20, Ryan Looft of New Paltz, NY wins 3rd place for his poem “Please, Mom, Don’t Go.” from the high school age group. This poem should have won 1st place if only for the simple fact it brought tears to my eyes before I had even finished the poem. As a mom of a young four year old, I automatically related as soon as I started reading. By the end I was crying mommy tears. 

“Poetry Diversified” is filled with excellent poetry that will resonate with many. With just 60 pages of poetry, I felt more in my gut than I have in a long time. I cannot express the power of poetry and that yes it does matter. What these poets have written have touched my soul and I will be passing this book along so that another may be touched as I have. Five stars!

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