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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Much more than I expected.

    I thought this volume would be a lot like the previous volume of Poetry. Much to my surprise it is very different, or maybe I am the one who is different from reading volume 14. I found wide ranging feelings and experiences expressed in these pages. There is joy, anger, surprise, and innocence. I discovered a great deal of humor, as well an occasional upwelling of sadness. Wendy has an unusual perspective on so many things, her writing displays the differences that keep us from ourselves and others. This might change your life.

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  • An insightful and beautiful book of poetry!

    "Of the Flame" is another poetic masterpiece from Wendy E. Slater. I read this book twice so far, and I’m sure that I’ll read it again. Slater’s poetry is unapologetically raw, bold, and has a fluidity which instantly had me hooked and continued to steer me. I think this reflects the author’s talent in her craft. As a reader, I was swept away in the beauty and the depth of each poem, and I was also confronted by the brutal honesty of many of the poems. The poetry in this book covers themes such as self-awareness and being present-centered. It also touches on love and independence, yearning, setting boundaries and remaining authentic, separation, and escaping. I felt that some of the poems deal with the hypocrisy of certain institutions which promise healing and have great power, yet exploit that power. I also felt that a lot of the poems dealt with the artificial and narcissistic world that we live in. Finding peace is necessary but being interrupted from our peace highlights how the “real” world can interfere with one’s true self. Selfish demands can be placed upon us — manipulating us and convincing us to be swayed from what is real and important to us. Others try to change us — to clone us and to make us more agreeable for the sole purpose of serving their own agenda. The author, once again, does not hold the reader’s hand, and many of the poems implicitly hint more than state, while others demand the reader’s attention no matter how uncomfortable the topic may be. Wendy reveals the hypocrisies and the ugly truths that lurk within the world we live in so cleverly, and it is done in a way that really makes the reader pause and reflect. Her references to nature showcase her ability to utilise visual imagery with ease and to great effect, enhancing the message further. This simply reveals the author’s creativity, which has no limits. Knowing one's self and the constant mention of the ‘flame’ and ‘home’ reminded me of the importance of self-reflection. I felt that ‘home’ is our inner voice and that the "flame" is the truth and the realness and the passion within us — what truly matters in life — what is real as opposed to what is superficial and a charade. There is also mention of unmasking a clown which, I think, can easily justify and excuse many of our childhood fears, such as a fear of clowns? We are told to trust so many as children, only to realise that we can only truly rely on ourselves to find the light: to find laughter, love, faith, and to free our soul because many lure us while they are disguised as pure, good and righteous, only to be the complete opposite. This book of poetry highlighted that when we are “home” we can truly be our authentic selves, and we can refuse to be lured, or disrupted for someone else’s “important” issues just to accomodate their needs at the expense of our own, whether it’s in a relationship or even in the outside world. We can serve tea to our guests, but they need to respect our home — There is a beautiful poem that touches on this which I loved as it resonated deeply with me. I felt that it emphasised that we cannot dance to someone else’s tune. We must sing our own song, while being mindful of what is around us. When we love someone, it doesn’t mean they can control us and disrespect our boundaries. Overall, this is another intelligent, thought-provoking, and beautiful read by a truly talented writer. Wendy E. Slater’s poetry is a gift for the soul: it replenishes, encourages, challenges, and enlightens the reader. I cannot say enough about Wendy E. Slater’s brilliant and artistic writing, and I can’t wait to immerse myself into more of her poetry.

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