Joan Hopp’s, ‘A Garden of Poetry’, is a nourishing bundle of words and rhymes, specially crafted with the heart and soul in mind! This graceful and elegant collection is full of invigorating ingredients, such as wisdom to help guide; inspiration to help grow; and love to help produce the most beautiful and rich garden of all!
Hopp’s great asset of creativity sparks off right away in the ‘Gardeners Introduction’, a refreshing reminder to us of all the great responsibilities one takes on when in the position to help any form of life flourish; in this case, the author uses the analogy of the flower garden!
The poem encourages readers to consider the importance and necessity of ‘planting seeds, bulbs, and tiny plants’, and rejoices in the magic of progress and successful results. And boy, is she right for doing so! For the portrait of the world surely would be incomplete without the inimitable grandeur these delicate floral accents of nature bring!
And just like flowers, her words bloom, graciously, with poems such as “Mother My Teacher”, which pays homage to a grand mom; “America”, a patriotic poetic anthem; and “Billy”, a considerate and inspiring poem written in a narration format, that overshadows the main character’s (Billy) learning disability, and rather celebrates the goodness of “his smile, grace, and dignity”. Poems such as this are warm, positive, and simply uplifting!
Speaking of such, if you’ve ever felt lost or confused, swamped in a sudden whirl of perplexity, Joan’s poetry will encourage, and help lead you back to safe grounds! One of our favorite poems to demonstrate this conclusion is entitled, ‘Lost and Found’; a piece stimulated by the biblical quote from the Holy Bible, Luke 15:6 that reads, “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors saying to them: ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”
Just as food is fuel to our bodies, words are energy for our souls – and Hopp’s brief, yet optimistic message has the power to save a life. Regardless of the topic, she instills and teaches the treasure of possessing two incredible, intangible gifts; faith and hope, while simultaneously reiterating the important lesson written of in the parable of Luke; for what is lost, can always be found. Never give up. A captivating photo of a long, one-way road aside the forest follows this poetic selection and provides the allusion of a ‘path’ or roadway to the unknown.
Another fantastic trait we notice (and admire!) while reading Joan’s work, is the personable and informative appeal her writing gives off, giving us the opportunity, as readers, to learn more about the her, and some of the beautiful places she’s had the pleasure to embrace. Joan shares with us one of her most notable ‘escapes’, which she describes as, ‘paradise’, based out in the famous state of New York, and the mental sightseeing leaves us breathless!
Imagine. “Bubbling brooks laden with rainbow trout”, birds flying overhead, a “clear blue sky with Cumulus clouds”, glorious pine trees accompanied by a “delicious fragrance”. We can almost feel the serene peacefulness wrapping her gentle spirit in comforting warmth, suddenly saddened to read of the loss of her dearest husband – and their special forest.
Poem after poem, we are filled with light and interest, captivated by the author’s truth, stories, honesty, and testimony. One selection that stood out to us particularly is ‘A True Story’. Aside from the catching title, the poem is Hopp’s evidence and proof of angels on earth, and it is beyond compellingly convincing. As readers, the author’s experience, or encounter with heavenly beings is life-changing - miraculous, even! And she seems to have adapted some of the angelic traits herself!
In summary, the author’s capacity and extent of love and compassion written of throughout the book has an infectious effect, and surpasses talent. As an author and person, there is no doubt that she can positively drive someone lacking the ability to believe, to be the best person they can be and to do good in life. Based off the book, we believe the strength of her spirituality and insight make this timeless collection of poems more than valuable, esteemed, and wise.
The Realistic Poetry International Honest Book Review team is pleased to present this book with a 5-star rating, and would recommend it to all!
Beautiful work, Joan!