The Human Race

R. Vanderhoofven

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 16 Price: (paperback) $14.93 ISBN: 9781490707952 Reviewed: December, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

This slim, 8 ½” x 11” volume contains seven poems that author R. Vanderhoofven wrote from 1986-1994. Comprised mostly of personal prayers, the writings speak of trusting God in the midst of great heartache.

Printed in white ink against green backdrops that also contain stunning photos of butterflies, flowers, birds (and one frog!), the poems include a description of self-relinquishment in the face of overwhelming trouble (“I have nothing to trust in but You./ My total being is in Your Hand [sic]”). Another asks for a washing-away of regret (“Cleanse me Heavenly Father/From the foolishness I’ve given myself to/And for the years that I have wasted/When I could have been walking with You”).

The lines are often not true rhymes (“relate/mistake,” for example) and can be awkward in meter, sometimes forcing an attempted pattern. For example, the author writes: “Mounted once more, the ground his steed kicks, /Having learned one more of this devil’s tricks.” One poem, “Titan,” seems to describe a last-days account of the battle between Jesus and Satan, yet readers discover in the end that the horseman’s name is not Jesus, but Titan. Many will wonder: Who is Titan? (In addition, “Titan” is a lengthy poem that requires turning the page and would have been better suited for a double-page spread.)

Because the poems provide only a smattering reference to the book title and the pictures contain no representation of the human race, the writings would benefit from a unified theme supported by appropriate illustrations. Sharpened rhyme and meter would also improve the collection, as would a grammatically corrected introduction and biography. With these revisions, the heart of the author’s messages would more clearly resonate with the heart of readers.

Author's Current Residence
Nampa, Idaho
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