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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Poetry of Reflection by Betty May

Betty May has put together a very personal selection of verses that cover so many aspects of her life and faith. It is difficult sometimes to get a clear picture of someone just from their writing, but at the back of this volume there are eleven pages of photos, each page a composite of five or six small photos of different shapes and sizes. They start with parents, then sporting teens, boys and motorbikes, parenthood, holidays in geothermal resorts and foreign parts before reaching grandchildren and old page. They are a perfect accompaniment and in their own special way say more about the author than pages of words ever could. You see a whole lifetime.

The poems themselves are divided into eight sections, each one introduced by a lovely colour photograph. There are inner voices, coastal reflections, places, memorials, numbers, nature and reflections on the future. Betty explores her faith and her life along with many of the places and people she has encountered.

I think perhaps my favourite poem from the collection is called ‘Decommissioned’. It creates a great deal of atmosphere and feeling with its simple lines and words. This is Betty’s style.


In a convent chapel

Hidden in the west

Taken was the Altar

And all that once was blessed

Although the walls were strong

Silenced was the song

Of the souls

Who worshipped there

Heads bowed

Reverently in prayer

The shape of faded diamonds

All that’s left to share

In an empty chapel

Of that convent bare

Reviewer: Marcus Hobson

Published by Write Answers. RRP $29.95


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