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Seven Bridges: Turning Adversity into Victory Paperback – August, 2003
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Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
"...Her poems and narrative are rich and tasteful, like Dove chocolate ice-cream bars." -- Robin Travis-Murphree, Poetic Voices Online Magazine
"Reading SEVEN BRIDGES...is fun, insightful, and empowering. Your heart will be deeply moved and touched by love." -- Dr. Scott and Shannon Peck, Authors, THE LOVE YOU DESERVE
Reed's bridges of poetry and prose, built by her victorious spirit, takes us to our own exciting destinations. (Kristin Johnson) -- MyShelf.com, October 2003 (by Kristin Johnson)
She is at her best when she puts her poet's brain to struggle... Truly a builder of bridges, this one! -- BookPleasures.com, October 2003 (Carolyn Howard-Johnson)
From the Publisher
Dessa's first book, THE BUTTERFLY TOUCH / Recovery Through Poetry, "touched" the hearts of readers throughout the world, especially those going through a personal challenge. SEVEN BRIDGES expands her story with short stores, essays, and well-crafted poetry that show her isights as well as her development as a writer. This new book is a joy to read and also encourages readers to discover their own creative voice for self-expression and fulfillment.
Top customer reviews
She continues to share her humble beginnings as a poet in this, her second book, The Butterfly Touch was her first. Unlike highly acclaimed and renowned poets whose poems stand alone as the hallmark of poetic art, Dessa, a natural teacher, allows her reader to experience the crafting of poetry as she shares some of the inspirational moments that inspired her poems.
Seven Bridges, published three years after her first book, is evidence that a poet gets better by writing more poetry. The book is organized into various themes with a reader can readily identify with, for example, the past, special moments, and as Dessa calls it "the silly."
I found myself smiling, laughing and crying as poems touched their mark. One poem, ten stanzas in length, titled "Moment of Truth" ends,
"To receive the communion
How true. Her epiphany became mine. Another, I especially identified with is "Reading Friends,"
"I sometimes choose friends
like a book....
I linger with their laughter,
cry with their tears, fight
with their fears."
She encourages hopeful, aspiring poets with her self-help prose and her poetry. Demonstrating how thoughts, experiences and life are creative inspiration I was reminded of unfinished poems I have tucked away in forgotten file folders, perhaps, worthy of review.
The book is a tribute to her life philosophy that is: there is no need to plunge into the river of despair (and she could have, more than once), instead find a bridge and use it. Time spent on the bridge purifies and heals, moving the writer to healthier emotions and happier moments.
Armchair Interviews says: Want to put your poetry out there? Then read Seven Bridges as a crossing to poetic creativity.
Reed's second book, Seven Bridges: Turning Adversity Into Victory, is somewhat of a departure from The Butterfly Touch. Like The Butterfly Touch, it contains Reed's musings on poetry, but in this outing Reed equally intermingles poetry and prose, from an essay on changing politics and her affection for her blue-collar son-in-law to an intriguing history feature, followed by a poem, about Ruby Bridges, the first black child to be enrolled in an all-white school under court order in 1962. The poem reflects Reed's style at its best: "Our six-year-old sacrifice/Carries no cross/No crown of thorns encircles/Her white-ribboned pigtails/No blood stains/Her store-bought dress".
Reed encourages the reader to be "a poet with a voice." The book's gentle writing tutorials continuously invite a dialogue between Reed and her poet readers in-between the seven metaphoric bridges.
This reader very much enjoyed the section "Bridges to the Past," especially the poem, "RFD," told from the point of view of Reed's grandmother Lily Briscoe and portraying the vanished social ritual known as the mail delivery in small-town America. Reed's bridges of poetry and prose, built by her victorious spirit, take us to our own exciting destinations.
I have the privilege to know and work and regularly read poetry with this writer. She is wonderful.
In an introduction to one of the sections in Seven Bridges, poet Dessa Byrd Reed readily admits that "poets love to create a poem about creating a poem." That should make the subject taboo for poets for, after all, their goal is to see the world and tell of it in a new fresh, way. That poetry has been a theme for so many makes approaching the subject very tough indeed.
No matter. Reed succeeds in bringing us, certainly, lovely poems on many subjects but her success was most vivid for me when she attempted to compete with all those who have sung about poetry in the past. Starting on Page 17 she begins with a mini-essay on poetry (little rills of prose on different subjects are liberally sprinkled throughout the book) and then includes a poem where she wishes for a "poetry spray-gun." Don't we all? Even if we write fiction? Even if we are readers only? We curl up with a book in our hands to feel the weight, smell the ink and we hope for an unforgettable image.
Reed builds other bridges for the reader as well. She is at her best when she puts her poet's brain to struggle, including widowhood and addiction. Her excellence also blooms when she is in a nostalgic mood. Truly a builder of bridges, this one!
(Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards. Her newly released Harkening, also a collection of stories, has won three. Her poems have appeared in review journals like The Copperfield Review and Sparks Margazine.)