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A Night Without Armor Paperback – 1999
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and the living
must love the world
A Night Without Armor is an intricately crafted collection of honest expression and spontaneous revelation. Jewel Kilcher is not only a singer and songwriter, she is a truly gifted poet. Her love for the poems of Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, Rumi, Yeats and Pablo Neruda flows through her poems in a mingling of mysterious longings and vision.
I spent an entire afternoon reading "a night without armor" and Jewel's intuitive understanding of life and descriptions of loneliness in the midst of popularity left me in a state of extended contemplation about beautiful moments and the cravings of the soul.
Jewel paints unforgettable scenes in vivid imagery. In "Communion" she shows a deep understanding of intimacy and her artistic descriptions capture environments in sensual words that slip over the pages in beautiful streams of inspired imaginings.
I have cast my heart
like a purpled fruit
toward the violent earth,
far from the Heaven
of your arms
Her words will at times take you by surprise and I found myself retracing my steps to understand the unique poetic forms and deeper meanings woven within complexity. I found myself reading "Wild Horse" three times before I could turn the page. "Still Life" and "Lost" are also equally interesting in form.
"Gold Fish" was a sweet innocent and playful surprise and her witty interpretation of life in Spivey Leaks made me laugh. "You Are Not" is a revealing look at belief that sharply contrasts with action.
Many of Jewel's poems are saturated in deep heart longing and many are resting in delicate moments of peaceful childhood memories from Alaska. There is a profound poem about her brother Shane and many poems about her childhood and family life in Alaska. "The Slow Migration of Glaciers" is a love poem to Alaska and explores Jewel's longings for home.
Struggling to hold back
cling to the sweet fruits
of last-minute kisses
to lose themselves
in the honey-thick gravity
of love so new
Jewel's love poems are unique and she delves into dreams, experience, loss, passion, trust, betrayal, fear, disappointment, uncertainty, longing, infatuation and kisses.
These poems are alive with emotion; they capture the beauty of Jewel's soul and make the world feel a little less lonely.
~The Rebecca Review
Her poetry, on the other hand, is unique throughout the book. It's sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant, but always makes me think. I enjoy re-reading it annually...and thinking all over again.