Phil’s Book of Poems of Love and Inspiration

Phillip Freeman

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 97 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781462845972 Reviewed: November, 2011 Author Website: Visit »

Though based on an oversimplified worldview where, at least morally, life is seen in monochrome, Phillip Freeman’s collection of faith-based, urban poetry is often inspirational. However, the lack of any thematic progression — the poems aren’t arranged strategically; in fact, they’re in alphabetical order according to the title — makes the reading experience an aimless one.

Tonally, the poetry has a childlike innocence to it, one that perceives the world in uncomplicated, plainspoken terms. In “A Savior Was Born,” Freeman describes the Nativity thusly: “Our Lord wasn’t born in a five-star hotel complete with a hot tub and prime rib. He was born in a barn with animals in a manger for a crib.” A line from “Creator” reads: “God created the oceans to provide water when there is no rain. The oceans also give us seafood that’s good for the brain.” In “Hater, Beware,” Freeman melds urban sensibility with faith in Christ: “You can try to drag my reputation through the mud. Lying to the boss, saying you caught me smoking bud. Oh, I won’t curse you out. I won’t even need a gun. I’ll just get on my knees and pray to God’s begotten son.”

While most of these poems will be regarded as too light for hardcore poetry aficionados, there is unarguably simple wisdom within pieces like “You Are What You Think” and “No Vision, No Future.” But much of that existential insight is lost in the undisciplined feel of the poems; although the majority of poems have a (very) loose rhyming scheme, they are inexplicably constructed in prose form, which greatly hinders any kind of lyrical flow.

The collection has a spoken word sense of coolness about it, but the lack of any narrative and thematic complexity, in the individual poems as well as the collection as a whole, will make it hard for this collection to find a wide audience.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Virginia Beach, Virginia
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