Kaleidoscopic Beauty by Karen Horsley (Poetry Review)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another exciting edition of MY BLOG (yes, twice in two days. Aren’t I good?).

Today I have a bit of a confession. I am going to be doing some advertising (SHOCKER!) for a friend (YES I HAVE FRIENDS!) who has recently published a book (YES I HAVE FRIENDS WHO WRITE PUBLISHED BOOKS!)

So without further ado, let me tell you about Kaleidoscopic Beauty: A collection of poetry on love, loss and the beauty of the natural world by Karen Horsley.
I met Karen only a couple of months ago in a samba drumming band based in Chester. Although I have only been in the band since May, I already feel like a cemented member of the group and feel like the people there are already very good friends of mine. I found out within the first couple of gatherings (possibly the first ever one actually, maybe the second?) that Karen was quite the poet. I have a strong memory of her showing me one of the poems she wrote and actually laughing out loud, which is something I do very rarely when reading, let alone during poems. (The only time that has ever happened to me before as far as I can remember was when I was about 6 I got up in front of the class to read a poem about my head rolling off, and my head nearly rolled off from laughing too hard. In the end, I just wet myself and ran out of the classroom still laughing. A skill I wish I could get away with today as I guess it’s frowned upon once you reach your mid-twenties. Alas…). Unfortunately I don’t think that particular poem is in this collection, but mostly because it probably wouldn’t fit somehow. More on that if it is included in a future collection, as I wouldn’t want to ruin it.

I don’t actually consider myself to be a huge fan of poetry. I appreciate it, but it isn’t something I dedicate my time towards (says the girl who got a Blue Peter badge back in the day for writing A POEM). Having said that, I completely understand why people do like it and I can especially understand why people write it. It’s shocking that only a few words can move people so much and so rapidly and I find the art of that more mind-blowing than pretty much anything else. I guess songs with lyrics have a similar skill, but with a song they also have the music itself to build the atmosphere. Poems can’t, as they’re written down on paper (or Kindle, whatever your “vibe” is). This collection of poems is the perfect example of this type of magic that poetry can produce. The whole book is almost like a journey through life. To me, it looks as though the poems have been put in a specific order to signify various stages in life.

A couple of my favourites to look out for: Passing Time (I could really hear a clock ticking in this one!), It’s Always You (for some reason, I really enjoy “hate” poems, so that one was really interesting to me), Starfish (never seen a poem written by a starfish before funnily enough, but what really amused me and the reason I’ve added this one was that I foolishly read the poem without reading the title first for some reason, so was utterly bemused when I was reading it until I went back to the top of the page and saw the title! Just goes to show you should pay attention to the titles of poems BEFORE reading it!), Chocolate Heaven (for obvious reasons), Empty Shell (this one gripped me), Spectator (I could weirdly relate to this one, but only because I find it difficult to be in big crowds sometimes. This showed the sense of being in a crowd but not really “there” perfectly). Reading this list makes me think that my tastes are a little “quirkier” than some other people, and a lot of the other poems are beautiful and describe nature and the changing seasons in incredible ways. If that’s more like what you are after, then this will definitely be right up your street/valley/cul de sac/cobbled pathway/field of wheat etc.

I will finish with one of the poems in the collection. But before I sign off, I should also inform you that you can buy your copy of this collection on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Jv9dLB

This poem is called City Heat (because I’m in England where we seem to be stuck in a perpetual summer at the moment. Not complaining about sun, but is it really necessary to be this sunny when I have no holidays left to book?! Anyway…)

I walk alone through city streets
And think of sandy shores
I feel the ground beneath my feet
A hard, unyielding floor
My footsteps dance a steady beat
Longing for ocean waves
Escaping this oppressive heat
I dream of holidays

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