Thursday, May 13, 2010
A Ymah Rivera Publication
In Writing A Woman’s Lover, author Yvonne Hampden has elegantly shown the power of word structure in her poems. The selections effectively convey thought, feeling and action, emotionally tugging at the heart. Love is a theme that many poets will concentrate upon until the end of time, but the author intensifies the theme with her style and choice of words. I particularly appreciated the figurative language that is specific and ignites the imagination. There is little rhyme but the free verse is written in words that create powerful images with form and line length.
The book is unique as it contains historical photos and documents that give readers insight into the author’s genealogy. She indicates that A Woman’s Lover will have readers thinking about their love stories as well as those of their ancestors. And she is correct! On a dresser in my bedroom is a picture of a beautiful woman who is wearing a long flowing dress and sitting on a tree stump in the forest. The woman is my grandmother who died at the age of 32. When I look into her eyes, I can visualize the love she had for my grandfather. After reading this book, I immediately wanted to write a book about this love and why death had to separate them. My grandfather eventually remarried, and I ask myself if any love can ever be as great as the first. Another thought…another poem?
The first two lines of the first poem in the book are ones that I shall always remember. The author states: “What is love but the soul’s (line break) Cry to be complete with God?" I found myself pondering these words over and over, realizing that she had created an influential verbal image in my mind. There are many other philosophical lines that show her creativity of mind and soul.
Though the poems all deal with love, there is much variety in the selections. She covers rejection, abuse, understanding, loneliness, anger, desire, state of mind, loving a junkie, passion, presence, absence, healing, etc. Yes, these subjects are covered in many poems; however, she writes with a fresh and thoughtful perspective. Yvonne ends the book with a letter entitled “True Womanhood” which her aunt gave to her in 2005. The salutation reads: “Mr. Chairman and members of the Sunday School Convention of the Houston District.” It is a wonderful letter that all readers should and could learn from.
For poetry lovers who want to read about love and the way that feelings and heartaches stemming from such a small word do not change through generations, I recommend this book as an excellent read.
Bettie Corbin Tucker
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers