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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 www.HowToDoItFrugally.com . She blogs writers resources at Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com. Visit Magdalena's website at http://www.magdalenaball.com and The Compulsive Reader at http://www.compulsivereader.com/html Vicki Taylor, California watercolorist, illustrated this chapbook.
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Top customer reviews
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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. For example, the bittersweet "Dreaming Lilacs", primes the reader to expect a poem about intoxicating, fulfilled love through its vivid evocation of place and utilisation of all the reader's senses ("It's you who had me dreaming lilacs,/ breathing April's sweetest tears, tasting sugared lemon rinds,"), then reveals that it is really about expired or unrequited love ("... As if you/ were with me,/ as if you loved me."). Brilliant.
All in all, a superb collection: different yet not totally unfamiliar.
Roll on the next collection!
award-winning poet & short-story writer;
Author of "On the Road to Infinity" & "You Have No Power Over Me"
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.
I don't read a lot of poetry. I know little about the various poetic styles and proper formatting for each. But I do know what moves me. This collection does that.
Because I read a lot of suspense and thriller novels, reading fast goes with the fast pace of the plots. With this book, I had to remind myself to go slow. The words here are a literary paintbrush and the image they create should be savored.
The two authors have very different styles, but they are equally gifted. Overall, Magdalena Ball's work feels broader, her words more abstract in approach. Carolyn Howard-Johnson's work has a narrower feel, her words a bit more direct. Choosing a favorite would be impossible, since both move me in different ways. They are a well-matched team, beautifully complementing one another.
Whether you're a lover of poetry or a casual fan, this collection is one I highly recommend.
"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...
Most recent customer reviews
Love the artwork on the cover, too!