A Review of Patchwork Poetry, by Mel Finefrock

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Straight from the heart and imagination of Mel Finefrock, blind writer and musician, emerges a delicately bold collection of exploratory free verse poems chronicling various aspects of her personal journey. Believing that there is beauty to behold in almost any situation, Finefrock quilts precious and ordinary moments alike into patchwork poetry that embodies themes of love, friendship, pain, and growth. While unique to her experiences, Finefrock’s soul-baring reflections are also applicable on a universal level and will inspire readers to look inward.

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Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: the namesake of her inspiration, hope permeates every word, every line, every page; the writing is descriptive, flowing, and beautiful; there’s a sense of journey, a rediscovering of the world—a story forged through years, heartaches, and keeping hope alive

I’m breaking out—into the world of poetry!

I hope you know I touch you
because I adore you,
not just because
I can’t see you.

Of course, that’s not to say I wasn’t already in that world. What I mean is, I’m breaking into poetry reviews, starting with this one.

I received a copy of this collection from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way altered or changed how I read, thought about, and will be reviewing this book. Huge thanks to Mel Finefrock for requesting my feedback and offering up this opportunity!

I am all limbs and joints
and dreams of freedom.

I’m flying,
but I don’t believe in
defying
the laws of physics;
I work with them instead.

I become the pendulum
and hypnotize myself.

I want to start out with probably the most obvious thing ever: The cover is absolutely gorgeous. There’s a whimsical, dream-like quality to the painting. I can imagine being in that park myself—the trees in full fall plummage above my head, the pavement slick with recent rain, colors dancing and swirling all around. Going into a book of poetry with such a vibrant, festive image in mind really helped set the tone and get my sense of wonder spinning. (For those interested, the artist is John Bramblitt—you can find out more about him via www.bramblitt.net )

Mel Finefrock’s poetry, on the other hand, helped to ground me in a way: emotive, evocative, and breath-taking, the words and worlds she creates wove a sense of dreamy, confident ease around my heart. Drawing inspiration from real-life situations, people, and experiences, Mel Finefrock takes readers on a journey spanning several years and covering some painful, heavy subjects—always with a sense of hope lingering at the very end, a sense of “It’s okay; I haven’t reached the very bottom yet.”

My hope burns
as blue as that star
and, sensing a shift
in our lives,
I make a wish
for each one of us.

The journey is quick in words…but so long in years coming for the author, who pairs both older pieces and new in a way that tells a story: of dreams fading, of wishes forgotten or broken, of hopes crushed and built back up. There’s a quiet beauty to the space between her words, a place readers are invited into—to dream, to hope, and to fly with the poet.

I really enjoyed stepping, just for a moment, into Mel Finefrock’s life and viewing the world the way she strives to: with inspiration, with adulation, with wonder and awe. I highly recommend to lovers of poetry, to seekers of beauty, and to poets seeking a muse. If you’re lost and not sure what you’re looking for, perhaps you should start here; you might make a discovery of your own.

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