Into Her World
by J. Ko
Trafford Publishing

"I close my eyes
And drift to the place where
Complete peace and serenity has occurred
A place where God's love and grace is everywhere"

Although many poets hide their true feelings behind verse dealing with subjects far removed from themselves, Ko has chosen to do the exact opposite. In a collection of candid poems as well as a handful of prose selections, the author has invited us into her life, asking us to get to know and understand who she is as a person. This approach is not without risks, because she refuses to sugarcoat her feelings toward others while also being honest about herself. The result is a poignant collection of life snapshots that lays bare the author's private world.

The men who have passed through Ko's life pop up frequently in her writing. But while her critiques of them are often pointed, she is not simply male-bashing. Instead, one gets the sense that her desire is for them to be the very best they can be and to mature in areas where they are lacking. Still, her integrity compels her to be forthright about her feelings even as she offers them forgiveness for the hurt they have brought. That same honesty also causes her to admit that she often pushes away those who come too close out of fear of being vulnerable once again. Other poems in her book focus on subjects such as the connection she has with Australia from her time there or take a lyrical leap as in the superb, third-person piece, "Hurricane Fire and Ice." Yet even those in this latter category still manage to reveal the soul of the writer.

Ko's faith in God and his plans for her infuse much of her work, giving her poetry added depth and making many of her reactions in the poems make more sense. In short, she has crafted a beautiful and revealing portrait of herself for others to discover.

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