Kaleidoscope of Being
by Jennifer Toth

"So my story begins and ends
Strung together with pills and swords
And I can barely utter a word
To tell of bloody battles waged --
On my mind, body, and, soul!
Can you see them on my heart strings?"

When faced with hardships, many crumble. Toth, instead, writes poetry. Her book is an autobiographical collection of poems that detail the poet's life, her struggle with mental illness, and, ultimately, her salvation at the hands of Jesus Christ. Toth's poetry is inspirational and uplifting, despite at times displaying uncertainty or sorrow. The poems are imbued with spiritual and religious notes and can serve as a reminder to all those who are suffering that in the face of hardships one can always turn to God, nature, and the beauty of creativity.

Toth's poetry is rich in spiritualism, but it is even more richly entwined with another theme—nature. Moods and moments of darkness are portrayed as rain and thunder, while positive moments are full of sunshine and blooming flowers, like the poet's childhood, which is spent as a "wildflower" frolicking among nature. Even the poet's vision of Heaven is that of a natural phenomenon, full of oceans and sunbeams. This marriage of nature with religion heightens the reader's appreciation for both and reminds us to be thankful for the beauty of the world around us.

The poetry never delves into autobiographical details, choosing instead to remain firmly in the allegorical realm. This leads to deeply personal poems that are nevertheless relatable and enjoyable for any reader who shares in Toth's love for the natural and religious world. Many of these deeply personal poems follow a similar pattern—mostly free-form with a few rhyming couplets interspersed among lines that vary in length to create aesthetically pleasing forms. Toth's poetry shines with hope despite thunderstorms in life and depicts a clear sense of awe and inspiration from nature and God.

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