One lesson took a bit longer to soak in:

It is rain that brings the mud,

and rain that washes it away.

 

 
 

 

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REVIEWS: Persistent

 

Evocative poems of life's impressions
I like to read a book of poetry through at first to get a feel for the tone, like walking into a friend's house for the first time and getting a quick tour. Then I read through more slowly, lingering in the rooms that seem most welcoming or, perhaps, most foreboding. Persistent felt like a warm home, not simply a house, yet one filled with the usual ups and downs of life. I have revisited the book several times since receiving it and have found the poems/rooms in which I prefer to dwell, depending on my mood.

The language is descriptive and works to paint both a visual and an emotive picture. My favorites here have sent me back to reread Mark Strand's poem Keeping Things Whole, ponder yet again Kierkegaard's Sickness Unto Death as well as gain strength for a late life career change where I will be traveling, for me, A New Road. What all this is to say is that the poems in this collection, while representing Sheldon's vision and wonderful expression will also speak to the reader. There is even a call to global awareness with an eye toward the past, are the things that don't appear to have changed always been the same or are they occurring again? Either way, "the time is now" to affect change.

This collection will be enjoyed by not only those who already like poetry but will likely bring many over who have been hesitant to read it. Highly recommended!
Earl

 

Through The Eyes of A Poet
Poetry is often like a melody that haunts one’s dreams or a remembered line that sums up exactly what one has difficulty in saying. Jean Sheldon’s collection is a treasury of thought and the passage through life. She captures the connections that tie us together. She celebrates the beauty and wonder of the world. Imbued with a magical blending of emotion and philosophy, many verses will stir the reader to introspection. As a case in point, I quote the first verse of the poem, Perfect Harmony. “When unyielding night/ Cloaks you in doubt/And indifference,/Cradle the hope of dawn./It will come/ and when It does,/ let the slow/ Morning, alive with/Promise, comfort you.” This is a book to have beside you wherever you may light and need a friend to share a thought or insight, or to renew your own faith and courage. Alice Lynn

Savor the fresh ideas and descriptions
We are lucky that Jean Sheldon has chosen to share her view of the world through her poet’s eyes in Persistent. Whether writing about the weighty subject of religion or simply seeing a crow outside her window, Jean’s poems make you look at a situation or idea in a new, deeper, more meaningful, and more hopeful way. These ideas, coupled with her mastery of the language and delicious descriptions make Persistent a book you will want to drink in, savor, and replenish yourself with again and again. DER

Quiet reflections on the growth of self-knowledge
These poems are gentle but earnest reflections on the silent revelations of the inner life. There is a universality of experience here that softly reveals inner musings that most people never even acknowledge or talk about with others. It has always seemed to me that the reason we are here is to learn to see through our own illusions. These poems feel like intimate personal companions in this activity. Well done! Caroline S.

A Talented, Sensitive Voice
I love Jean's most recent book of poetry. It has many things for me, but most important is Jean's skill with the right word at the right time and place. This is a talent that many writers do not have, but she does, every time. I like the vast possibilities that are covered in her book; the sad, the joy, the different circumstances. Best of all, I love Jean's voice. I belong to a book club; every three months we bring some poetry to share. At our most recent gathering I took Jean's book and read five poems. Everyone was impressed and asked me to read one of them a second time. Joan Bailey

Jean has shared her courageous journey of healing through her book, Persistent. Her life and her options open doors to positive, new directions. Her poem, “At That Moment” reminds us all that when one has exhausted every possibility, a gentle hand on one’s heart helps to remember we are a part of the whole. A recommended reading for those of us who have had painful changes; that warm healing of one’s spirit is possible.  Mary Jane Erickson

Engaging Journey
Thoroughly enjoyable poetry! I could tell right away that the author was on a journey but they were themes anyone identifies with. The language is often cheeky and makes every word enjoyable. As a geocacher I really enjoyed A New Road! Id read poetry all the time if it was like this. Left me wanting more. Marisol Barrios

Every great artist, no matter what their art form, is at heart a poet, confronting the Great Mystery of the Universe in all its complexity and striving to become aware of, understand and appreciate the brief passage of life and time on planet Earth. In Persistent, accomplished mystery writer Jean Sheldon turns her considerable talents to the poetic form, condensing personal experience into the exquisite expression of thought, emotion and revelatory moment. There is no artifice or pretension in the construction of her verse, but rather refreshingly direct and honest musings on the great questions with which all inquisitive minds and yearning hearts will ultimately grapple and seek to untangle.

Poetry is perhaps the most daring, the most intimate and the most revealing of all the art forms for it gives a glimpse into the thinking and being of another creative soul at her (or his) most vulnerable. The poet's journey is one that is always worthy of respect. The reader is privileged to bear witness and be included. Jean Sheldon's own journey is, as the title suggests, one of persistence, finding light in the midst of shadow and stretching, as she says, "to tap the heavens." No doubt her journey, one of open-minded and compassionate possibility, will inspire you to consider your own.
~Laurence Overmire, poet and author of The One Idea That Saves The World: A Call to Conscience and A Call to Action.

Reading the poems in Jean Sheldon's new book, Persistent, is rewarding and inspiring. While deeply personal, each poem seemed to reach me as if she had written it just for me. I read the book from start to finish, but am now enjoying just picking a poem and letting it sink in for a meditation that leads to my own thoughts, memories and reflections. But don't think for a minute that Persistent is not filled with Sheldon's humor, earthiness, her keen eye and way with words. All have come together to make a window into this life we live, our own place in it, our eventual leaving of it and the strength that a self-examined persistence brings us all.
~Nancy McDonald, Indelible Mark Publishing

 

 

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