The Keeper of Light
by Timothy Brown

"I sit on a throne of bones
Owned by its past."

In self-admissions and deep confessions, readers find an honest voice in every poem of this collection. As readers enter each section of the book, they enter a new conversation with the speaker. In pieces like "A Liberating Death," readers discover the healing power of poetry and the reckoning it can bring to one's past: "For the rhymes in these lines bring light to their crimes." In other poems like "I Stand Before You with Love (Part 3)," the speaker establishes an identity in prayer-like, humble confessions of the heart. Other poems such as "Bleached Equity" make a social and political declaration relevant to modern-day America: "I was appointed by my ancestors, / Anointed with the blood of fallen protestors."

For contemporary poetry readers, the themes in this collection will resonate clearly. The honest voice and confessional nature of these poems make them easily relatable. The focuses on changing the self, the maturation process, and the personal awareness that adulthood brings make this collection an appropriate read for late adolescent poetry lovers and adults alike. The various forms ranging from rhyming poetry to free verse provide a unique poetic exploration for readers new to the poetry genre. By the collection's end, readers enter the light, and they learn that the key to happiness is embracing the small moments in life, even the imperfections. Readers with a keen interest in nature and Emerson-like poetry will particularly appreciate poems such as "The Power of the Sky." Fans of Helene Rochstein's With the Lamp of My Soul may find another favorite with this offering.

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