Fruit of the Spirit by Beatrice Branch

Copyright 1970
Checked out 10 times in 39 years
Last checked out 22 years ago

Here we have another book of religious poetry, and while I believe Albertville should have some volumes of religious poetry available to patrons, 4 out of 13 (thus far) is an excessive percentage. It could be that the As & Bs have a higher concentration than the rest of the collection. Yet even if Mrs. Branch’s was the first volume of religious poetry, I’d have to suggest culling it. Imagery, the life blood of poetry, is the exception rather than the norm here. She has a good command of rhyme and form, but that doesn’t automatically make good poetry. One needs to put flesh on the bones. Instead she hangs them with bromides and preaching. From “Compassion:”

Three men, each with a different code,
Walk one by one along life’s road.
The first one turns at the trail marked “Greed”
Without a thought for those in need.

We can all see where this is going, right? There’s too much of that sort of poetry in this volume. Let it go. –Even though it’s signed. –Even though it was presented to the library by someone who is no clear relation to the poet “in memory of” someone who also has no clear relationship to the poet. It came to the library when the library was brand new and needed books. Now it’s time to let it go. Maybe give it to a local church.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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