Penned for His Praise by Joanna Daniel
Hardback, 106 pages,
Published by Moriah Ministries, PO Box 7193, 31-33 Water Tank Road, MMDA Colony, Arumbakkam, Chennai 600 106, India.
Poetry, like a Picasso painting, attracts different emotions and varying levels of appreciation. For example, Picasso’s Guernica is, to some, an intensely powerful masterpiece, valued in excess of $200 million. To another eye, it is a combination of images which could readily be produced by a fifth-year art student. Poetry to some, the reviewer included, means Masefield and Wordsworth, Keats and Tennyson, with rhyme, metre and alliteration; while in the spiritual realm, the hymns of Isaac Watts, Fanny Crosby and Charles Wesley come to mind, consistent compositions which are easily committed to memory.
The English dictionary allows that a poem can be ‘a literary composition not necessarily in verse but exhibiting an intensity of imagination and language’. The book under review qualifies as poetry firmly within this definition. It is an anthology of prose poems, rather than poetry in the traditional English sense. Taking, among others, subjects such as life’s experiences and creation and nature, together with works in appreciation of the grace and love of God, the writer has sought to engage the mind of the reader in a spirit of thanksgiving, in order to generate praise, as the title suggests. As a book of poetry, this is not for me, but rather for others to enjoy. As the foreword suggests, scriptural poetry as found in the Psalms, allowing, of course, for translation, expresses thoughts without the form of conventional verse, and this book endeavours to do the same.
The book is beautifully illustrated photographically throughout, but the binding is a little suspect if the book is opened fully.