Anthony Bane’s The Journey of Life, From My Heart to Yours is a collection of 114 lyric poems, most written about the speaker’s enduring love for his beloved.
The poem “So Many Years” conveys the central message of this volume: “So many years we stood together,/ In good times and in bad./ Crossing new and uncharted seas,/ Sometimes happy, sometimes sad.// Every day I loved you more,/ No matter what would be./ I always believed, and still do,/ We were meant to become we.”
The great majority of poems echo these sentiments in some way, with little variation at the level of diction or syntax. Poems are arranged in quatrains with a hard rhyme at the end of lines two and four and fill either one full page or extend onto a second. Overall, the work is similar enough in rhythm, length, content, and tone to be largely interchangeable.
Any book that includes “Journey” in its title implicitly promises readers a narrative arc. But here, readers enter and exit the book with the same understanding of this speaker: He loves someone devoutly and wants to be with her always. A small moment of narrative tension emerges on page 53 when the speaker writes, “Traveling on the road of happiness,/ I suddenly lost my way…” A few pages later, he notes, “Had I known the last time I kissed you/ Would be the last time I’d kiss you…”; readers will wonder if the beloved has died or ended their relationship. Unfortunately, because concrete details are scant overall, we only learn about this speaker and his beloved in a general way, with no unique characteristics offered to answer such questions or grab our attention.
The poems read much like greeting-card fare and may appeal to those who like sentimental work. But they require more vivid, specific details and greater variation in tone, length, and style to capture the interest of more sophisticated poetry readers.
Also available as an ebook.