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Cherished Pulse: Unconventional Love Poetry Paperback – October 1, 2009

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About the Author

This little chapbook in the Celebration Series of poetry chapbooks is coauthored by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author, and Magdalena Ball, owner of The Compulsive Reader. Both poets' work has appeared in a number of printed anthologies and journals, and has won local and international awards for poetry and fiction. Magdalena holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from CCNY (New York), an MBA from Charles Sturt University (NSW), and has studied literature on a postgraduate level at Oxford University (UK) and marketing at Newcastle University (NSW). She lives in on a rural property in New South Wales with her husband and three children. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and two poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup. Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This Is the Place, won eight awards. Her book of creative nonfiction, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, won three. She has been an instructor for UCLA Extension's world-renown Writers' Program for nearly a decade and has several how-to books for writers to her name. Her chapbook of poetry Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver Award of Excellence. She is the recipient of the California Legislature's Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment. Her community's Character and Ethics Committee awarded her work promoting tolerance with her writing and its Arts and Culture Commission gave her their coveted Diamond Award. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of fourteen "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen." Carolyn’s website is . She blogs writers resources at Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites pick Visit Magdalena's website at and The Compulsive Reader at Vicki Taylor, California watercolorist, illustrated this chapbook.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449546056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449546052
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,055,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kristin J. Johnson VINE VOICE on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and poets live in the ether. Then again, so do greeting card companies. How many variations of "Hoping you have a Valentine's Day as special as you are" can a sane intelligent person stomach? Guys do not want to give or receive these empty Cupid cutesy cards, and here's a secret: women don't, either. Perhaps we'd better just stick with chocolate.

There is another alternative.

Award winning (and happily espoused) poets Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball have teamed up with online gift-giving giant Celebration Express. Celebration will be featuring their new e-book of poetry Cherished Pulse, a book full of intense, beautiful, and unconventional poetry about love -- the kind that doesn't appear in valentines that are available at card counters. This excerpt from "Great Sky" by Magdalena Ball is raw, real and honest:

Red and white bravado may be gone
with the purple clouds
and cracked leathers
of our childhood
but hunger remains.
Don't let age blind you.
Under my crepe paper skin
lies a beating heart


By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

After unrealized passion
my head finds the curve
of his armpit. There
where my ear presses
his warmth, a sensual sound,
cherished pulse. Not
what he wanted
but enough for me.

Cherished Pulse contains the kind of poem you'd send to a loved one if you could find something that isn't bedecked with doilies, glitter or strewn with clichéd rhymes. Cherished Pulse also contains original watercolors by an award-winning Los Angeles area watercolorist, Vicki Thomas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Logie on February 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Magdalena Ball's poems in this collection display a considerable interest in, and enthusiasm for, nature, both on this planet and in space. This is appropriate for "unconventional love poetry" as love for someone else often makes them seem to be everything (ie, the universe); it is also not what we expect since, on the face of it, love has no connection with outer space or the natural world on earth. This particularly appeals to me.

The awe in which we hold the cosmos together with its beauty and loneliness also make it ideal for poems about love. For instance, "Galactic Collision", one of my favourites, is about the virtually catastrophic fusing of two people in love with each other. The comparison of a human heart to a black hole is amazing, bold and apt: after all, a black hole is so powerful that nothing -- not even light -- can escape it. And true, deep love, draws us in and won't let go. She then goes on to underline this by going to the other end of the scale: light ("black hole/ expanded into a cartwheel blaze"). Love it.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, on the other hand, explores the inner recesses of the human world: the heart, the mind and the home, neatly complementing and counterpointing Ball's macroscopic world-view (or should that be "universe-view"?). As they say, "Home is where the heart is".

Howard-Johnson's skill is in choosing original settings for poems that address different sentiments from the expected. It is also evident in her relaxed style, which cuts to the emotional crux of her works in a simple yet elegant way and embraces the real issues rather than the simplistic pseudo-sentiments of most commercial greetings cards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joy V. Smith VINE VOICE on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
This chapbook of poems is a delicious serving of loving and lovely thoughts, memories, and images of love shared and remembered in a breathtaking way, as in these lines from "Aurora" by Magdalena Ball:

"Red, green and purple curtains
waved above you"

"If I could capture that spectrum of
atomic neon sign of lost wonder"

As an sf writer, I so appreciated the cosmic comparisons in Ball's poems.

The first group of poems is by Magdalena Ball; the second group is by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. All the poems flow and entice you into a world of longing and caresses. Howard-Johnson's poems reflect the imagery of nature, as in these lines from "Dreaming Lilacs":

"hearing bougainvillea's fuchsia
song, taking shortcuts
across the lawn to kick
through jacaranda's silent
petalfall. Like Van Goh's flowers
twist their faces
to the sun, ... "

These gentle, but stirring poems are a sweet gift to yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a young girl to show her what love really means...
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