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Sanctuary of the Soul: Sacred Heart Offering Paperback – January 31, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (January 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432761978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432761974
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,482,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Aaron St. Julien is an engaging young poet who is still finding his way after 16 years of committing his thoughts to paper. This collection of works represents a diary-like progress from a young urban African American male facing life in a country whose incongruities and biases troubled him deeply, to experiencing life outside his environment as a health care aid, in the Army National Guard and as a flight attendant for an airlines. Each step along his journey he wrote his thoughts and reactions and those thoughts are what he shares in this book.

Evaluating the works in this collection is a challenging. There is no definable form to judge: his style of writing uses frequently repeated rhyming words that resemble Rap lyrics. His vocabulary is impressive and the manner in which he elects to express his revelations and epiphanies does indeed reach the heart of the reader. And after all, that is one of the aspects of poetry that makes it unique in expression. The style of writing changes throughout the book but always returns to his favored Rap rhyming style. He uses some variations of spelling - at times 'the' become 'thee' as if to emphasis the different pronunciation of the same word, 'steering wheel' becomes 'stirring wheel', etc - and yet this is not a criticism: observe the number of other poets who stretch words to meet their fancies.

The main ingredient in Aaron St. Julien's writing is an honesty of voice. It will be interesting to see how this voice develops. Grady Harp, March 11
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Format: Paperback
Sanctuary Of The Soul is a collection of poems by Aaron St. Julien. He has worked as a health care worker in many foreign countries in Latin America and Europe. His personal experiences are the foundation for his poetry. My favorite poem is "Sacred Bond". This is a sensual poem about the bond between a man and a woman. The images he creates with his words is what makes this poem work for me. The words in this poem are beautiful. I hope to experience a bond like this with a woman someday. My other favorite poem in this book is "Jewel of A Saint". This poem is about the different ways to show compassion to another human being. This is kind of poem that will motivate me the next time I see someone in need. "The Call" is a poem about the call for peace and freedom in countries where people are oppressed. The image of starving people crying out for help is very vivid in this poem. St Julien expresses his faith in God as a source of his strength in the poem "Pillar of Truth". I am not an overally religious person, but this is a the kind of poem will make anyone feel better. "Open" is an exceptional poem. It serves as a reminder that every person on earth is a magnificent human being with special gifts. I love the positive tone of this poem. The poems in this book are personal and powerful. I can read these poems any time I need a spiritual or emotional pick me up.
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Format: Paperback
Initially, I rather liked St. Julien's repeating hip-hop licks, and found myself bopping along with his unmistakable rhythm. But as they mount up, trying on politics and spirituality and sex for size, I increasingly feel I've lapsed into a dream. Beating horses' hooves, jungle drums, clickclack train tracks. I enjoy this book from time to time, and I feel it has plenty recommending it. But I fear the poet's fingers found a comfy place and never got out of it.

St. Julien's themes really interest me, drawing on heroes like Malcolm X and Dead Prez, questions of how a young black man makes his identity in today's world. His words form his weapon of liberation, like Dr. King or Dr. Dre, but is that enough? His poems don't differentiate from one another, droning through relentless beats that endlessly repeat until we find our feet. It's a haze, a rhyming hip-hop daily daze that never breaks away from its rolling thought train.

I suspect St. Julien imagined a beat backing his rhymes and assumed that meant he'd achieved what he'd set out to find. He might be happier on stage, busting a rhyme like Saul Williams to mark light and time. Perhaps he'd better find a stage, because he'd rather sing than read off the page, he'd rather live in an oral rhyming age. But as print artifacts, his constant four-beat rhythm gets hypnotic and never achieves traction. So on the final page, I still feel unfulfilled.

These poems would make good slam fodder, good stage patter, ginning up listeners to stomp their feet and cheer. If you imagine yourself in St. Julien's hip-hop métier, you can hear these rhymes in your mind's ear. But on the stark unchanging page, the moment and place lose their sense of beauty and grace in the face of his unrelenting hip-hop pace. St. Julien has a good ear, and if I learn he's playing live, I'll probably be there. That's probably his natural home anyway.
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Format: Paperback
Aaron St. Julien has written an honest book of poetry that portrays his spiritual journey from a world full of darkness to finding the positive light that exists through it all. He grew up in the city life of Pittsburgh, Pa learning survival techniques for city life. He began writing his poetry as a teenager and at 29, he has published his poetry in a book to share with others. "This book is a spiritual journey through poetry, " said St. Julien. "Words can help open the mind and challenge you to think things you might not have thought before. It goes even deeper. It's connecting with people's souls." You can feel that connection when you read his words. The poems have a flavor of rap songs when I read them. I felt as if they were put to music they would have that kind of rhythm. They are very thought provoking and get to the heart of the matter in a few words. It is a rather quick read at only 85 pages but I did enjoy reading his words and learning more about his life experiences.
I was provided a complementary copy of this book from the author/ publisher, Outskirts Press. I was not obligated to provide a positive review. The opinions in this review are strictly my own.
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