Time Belongs to God and Other Poems

Leong Kwok Thye

Publisher: WestBow Press Pages: 62 Price: (paperback) $9.95 ISBN: 9781973608110 Reviewed: August, 2019 Author Website: Visit »

In this small collection of poems, Leong Kwok Thye encourages readers “to search the Bible to discover the relevance of God amid the challenges and problems of life.”

The book offers one or two scriptures on the left-hand page. The facing page then features a rhyming poem written mostly in four-line stanzas that reflects on the scriptural message. The poems are often meditative: “The waves in the boundless sea/ Rolling ceaselessly onto the shore,/ Declares God’s Eternity/ Of time past and forevermore.” They are also encouraging (“For in every race and creed,/There are many who need/ To know that God does care…:) and instructive (“Prayer is not a command/ But a humble request./ God does not act as we demand;/ He responds as he deems best.”)

A highlight is “My Super Mobile Phone,” a lighthearted, modern look at prayer. The author writes: “I have a super mobile phone/ That doesn’t cost a cent./ It belongs to me alone/ And cannot be lost or lent….I use my super phone everywhere;/ There are no restrictions./ I simply lift my heart in prayer,/ And God responds to my petitions.”

The poems are earnest in their intent, however they suffer from several flaws. Many lack a distinct rhythm and would be improved by sticking with a specific number of syllables per line. They also often strain to rhyme (as in “enjoyment”/ “detriment” or “inclination/ emotion”).

More importantly, they fail to offer the sort of vivid imagery that would resonate with readers on an emotional level, opting instead for mostly abstract language, as in: “Love is more than empty speech/ Lofty ideals that we teach…” or “All is not over after final breath/ There is life after death!” Such lines provide intellectual fodder but don’t easily connect with readers’ hearts.

Overall, the book delivers the sort of poems largely found in greeting cards. Those who appreciate this genre may find rewards here. Others seeking more sophisticated fare would do best to look elsewhere.

Also available as an ebook.

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