TGbTG: To God Be the Glory


Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 264 Price: (paperback) $19.99 ISBN: 9781450017800 Reviewed: December, 2014

TGbTG: To God be The Glory by omblivnju1027 (a.k.a. Veronica A. Odum) is a poetry collection by a mathematics teacher and founder of the KISS (Keep it Spiritually Simple) ministry. The book is divided into two sections: “General and Society Poems” and “Spiritual and Love Poems.”

The first section contains poems focusing on universal concerns of life, such as change, growing up, romance, and family. Although each poem follows a particular theme or situation, the pieces are mostly formless prose lines without any organizing structural principle or attention to musicality. For example: “Listen to your heart. So goes the heart also goes the mind/ Think about it.”

Occasionally, Odum includes some lively figurative language, as in the poem “Defense,” which is about neighbors: “If you talk to me over an empire state fence / What is your defense / I envision the steel wool iris of your eye / … No hope for a powwow with his son Jesus / More like a porcupine dance is your stance… / There is an evil pill being swallowed whole.” Unfortunately, Odum jumbles one image after another, creating unintentional confusion.

In the second section, “Spiritual and Love Poems,” God takes center stage. While a few of the poems include salient details (“For my birth certificate states I’ve been born new and pure at the age of thirty-four”), most are vague and monotone. “The Open Door,” for instance, begins, “Open the door to your mind / See what you need to see / Hear what you need to hear…” There is no payoff to this or many other poems in the volume because we never experience the kind of details that resonate on an emotional level.

The poems in this collection are obviously sincere and display personality at times, but most are formless and lack the freshness of imagery or insight that would enlighten readers. As such, the collection will likely hold limited appeal for most readers.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Baltimore, Maryland
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