Constructed of Magic: And Other Poems on the Immortality of the Human Spirit // Book Review

Constructed of Magic: And Other Poems on the Immortality of the Human Spirit

Poet: Louis Alan Swartz is a poet who has travelled the world, extensively in Africa, India, Europe and the Middle East helping others in finding their immortal spirits. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

This Review was requested.

Rating: ***


I am currently in the last throws of a Poetry module at University and as such I am very interested in reading diversely across all genres of poetry. I have never been one for spirituality and immortal souls, but I am open to ideas and interpretations and Swartz book of poems is something I welcomed in reviewing.

The book itself is beautiful, the illustrations are unique and well-crafted drawings, the cover is plain but eye-catching and all in all it’s a lovely book. But the poems didn’t catch me as much as I hoped. Some are very beautiful and hit an emotive note within me but some didn’t draw me in or impress me.

As a poetry reader I define good poetry by the poems I come back to. Poems are not something to be read once and never again, they’re there to be re-read, which is why this book will be fantastic for those who enjoy learning, reading or emoting spirituality.

To name a few poems in particular I enjoyed Making Dinner, in which a child’s voice relates the death of her father and how she believes her mother will never go to God as: ‘How could mummy be other than forever’, p. 74. It is a beautiful poem, with lovely language and a simple but moving message. But I cannot define an anthology of poetry on one poem alone.

The best poems, or the ones I enjoyed the most, were the shorter ones on most occasions, the long ones were often well-thought out but dragged in places or didn’t hold my attention as long as the short ones, which typically stuck in my mind: Rest,  Seasons of a Marriage and An Elephant Died Last Night.

The imagery in most of the poems is lovely and the vocabulary large, some ways purposely other times for the sake of making a poem more sophisticated, at least in my opinion. But still beautiful mostly.

All in all it is a lovely set of poems in a beautiful book but not to my tastes of genre, but I would not have found that out if I had not read. It is one of those books that I would recommend for people to try, for some it might be deeply moving and emotive for others it will simply be a nice book to read in their spare time.

Happy Reading!


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